A four-year-old girl in Philadelphia has died after she was accidentally shot in the face by her father. Authorities were initially told the girl's five-year-old brother had inadvertently pulled the trigger on Saturday (16 April) afternoon.
She was pronounced dead at the scene five minutes later. Maurice Phillips, 30, fled the house after the shooting.
Authorities said he turned himself in to a police station and confessed to killing the child. He told officers that he had been playing with the gun and it had gone off accidentally, WNCN reports.
Police recovered a semi-automatic pistol from the scene. On 14 February, Phillips had posted a photo on his Facebook of a semi-automatic pistol with a box of hollow-point bullets.
The girl, who has not been named, lived with Phillips and her mother Tera Riddick and her five siblings. Sgt Eric Gripp said: "After investigation, (he) admitted to accidentally shooting the victim, and stated that the sibling had nothing to do with it."
Family friend Crystal Dougherty said the girl had been outgoing and loved Barbie dolls. 'She was a sweet, loving, little girl,' Dougherty said. 'She was full of life.'
It was reported that she and her siblings rarely left their home because their mother feared violence in the neighbourhood which police refer to as the 'gun grid'. Charges are pending Sky News reports.