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Gun Accident Kills Girl on 13th Birthday in Texas

Emilee Bates shot in stomach while stepbrother was clearing gun
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2013 8:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another tragic accidental shooting, this one in Texas: Emilee Bates was accidentally killed by her step-brother on her 13th birthday Tuesday. Police say Austin McCord, 19, was clearing his AK-47 at the time. He ejected two dummy rounds that were above the loaded magazine, then pulled the trigger in what he believed was a safe move, NBC 5 reports. The sheriff explains that "once you've emptied the weapon, it's always safer to get the pressure off of the trigger, and that's what he thought he was doing." But McCord forgot about the loaded magazine, and the gun went off, shooting Emilee in the stomach.

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"He believed he was making the weapon safe by pulling the trigger to drop the bolt on an empty chamber," the sheriff's office said in a statement obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Police were called to the home around 8:30pm, where the step-siblings were alone; Emilee had been studying. The seventh-grader died in a Fort Worth hospital around 10pm. The case is considered an accident, and police say no charges will be filed. (Read more shooting stories.)

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