Girl, 11, Shot Dead by 2-Year-Old Brother
Siblings were playing with gun while mom was in bathroom: police
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2014 8:20 AM CDT
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An 11-year-old girl was killed in Philadelphia Saturday morning when she and her three siblings found a loaded handgun in their home and started playing with it. Police say her 2-year-old brother pointed the gun at Jamara Stevens and it discharged, with the bullet striking her heart. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and her mother was questioned by police for almost five hours, NBC Philadelphia reports. Police say she's not cooperating. No charges had been filed as of yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The mother's boyfriend allegedly left the gun at the house the night before, and the kids—who had been with their mother in her bedroom—found it on top of the refrigerator when she left to use the bathroom. A 14-year-old brother got it down from the fridge, and Jamara was shot while their mother was still in the bathroom. Investigators determined the 2-year-old was the one who pulled the trigger because there were traces of gunpowder and a burn on his arm, sources say. Another 11-year-old was shot in Philadelphia yesterday, the Inquirer notes, this one a boy who was shot at from a vehicle. He's in critical condition.

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Showing 3 of 690 comments
Apr 15, 2014 5:59 PM CDT
smokehill, obviously you don't know squat about revolvers or semiautomatic pistols, as most revolvers require less trigger pressure than their semiauto counterparts in either DA or SA mode. Indeed, the lightest trigger of any firearm I own is on my Ruger Super Redhawk, at approximately 2 1/2 ounces in SA mode, which is lighter than either my Beretta or my 1911. I also do not agree with your assessment of ownership requirements, as most states are now requiring the purchaser to show basic safety and competency before transfer. You do, however, have the right idea in that this pistol has exactly 2 chances of being purchased legally, those 2 chances are slim and none. But I don't understand your logic; instead of attacking irresponsible gun owners and the illegal gun trade, you instead decide to attack a whole class of firearms based on a preconceived notion of what is and isn't safe with no basis in fact.
Apr 14, 2014 11:09 AM CDT
Unfortunately, they don't require an IQ test for gun ownership. Of course, considering that this is Philadelphia, the likelihood that this was a legally-purchased and legally-owned pistol is probably near zero. This also points out the foolishness of owning a semi-automatic pistol instead of a revolver. VERY few people -- only those very well-trained who spend a LOT of time on the pistol range -- have any business with these guns. They are a dumb choice, usually, especially around children. Semi-auto pistols take very little pressure on the trigger to shoot. Revolvers take a LOT more trigger pressure & it's unlikely a 2-yr-old could pull that trigger. These people are fools, and incompetent parents. Somehow I managed to raise a child in a house with almost 40 firearms, many of them NOT in gun cabinets, and never even came close to an accident. Since he turns 31 next month we're probably past the danger point now. I'd give both of these fools jail time & require supervision by child welfare, but it'll never happen in Philadelphia. Even though she killed her kid through unbelievable carelessness, they'll feel sorry for her and let it slide. I'd also have that 14-yr-old charged, too, since he got the pistol down and obviously let the younger kids play with it. Apparently he inherited his brains from his mother. The acorn didn't fall far from that tree.
Apr 13, 2014 11:53 AM CDT
If the 14 year old got the gun down from the top of the fridge... sorry to say, but he should also be held accountable. At that age, you know better than to hand a 2 year old kid a fire arm. What was that kid thinking?? This is so sad. Think of the two year old when he grows up and the guilt he's going to feel knowing it was his hand that killed his sister.