Police in North Carolina say that a mother of five was accidentally shot and killed after one of her children found a gun in her purse, WSOC reports. Officers in Cornelius responded to reports of a shooting just before 7pm on Monday and found 25-year-old Gabriel Alexis Henderson dead in the back bedroom of her apartment, according to a statement from police. Four of her children were also in the room, and a small semi-automatic handgun was located on the bed next to Henderson. Investigators determined that only Henderson and her kids were inside the apartment when the shooting occurred. They think one of the kids found the gun in their mom’s purse and inadvertently shot her.
“We understand that children cannot differentiate most of the time between a real gun and a toy gun,” a police spokeswoman tells WFMY. Henderson’s youngest child also was injured and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Additional information about the children and their ages had not been released. “She was awesome,” one neighbor said of Henderson, speaking to WSOC. “She was helpful to everybody. She helped me a lot because I have children so she always looked out for my kids when I needed her when I was working,” one resident said. “She was just really a good mom. She worked really hard to be the best that she could be.” (Read more accidental death stories.)