Ohio mother Alyssa M. Edwards is facing two charges of child endangering after she allegedly left her daughter to suffer with four gunshot wounds inflicted by her brother with a rifle.
The mother of two allegedly returned to work after coming home to check on injuries to her four-year-old daughter who was shot multiple times by her eight-year-old sibling.
According to prosecutors, the 27-year-old allegedly left the two children home alone on Saturday (3 March) before she was contacted at around 10am by the boy while she was working at a nearby horse farm.
According to the Ashland County prosecutor her son was able to get hold of a .22-caliber rifle and shoot his sister, who is currently in a stable condition at a Cleveland hospital.
Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnell said Edwards according to Fox 8 Cleveland: "Came home cleaned up the bed cover with blood on it, examined the 4-year-old, was aware the 4-year-old was injured at that time and despite that knowledge clocked back in at work at 11 am again leaving the 8-year-old and the 4-year-old alone yet again".
Edwards, from Hayesville, then allegedly worked until noon before taking the child to a local hospital around 2pm.
According to the Times-Gazette, Edwards' husband did not know that the children were left alone and thought they were being taken to a babysitter's that day by the defendant.
Tunnell said that the rifle was stored in the gun cabinet and it was "unclear from the investigation whether it was locked" at the time of the incident.
"However, the 8-year-old would have the means and the ability to open it and was familiar with the firearm," Tunnell added. "The ammunition was stored separate from the gun and it appears the 8-year-old was able to load the magazine."
He added the boy, who is now in the custody of children's services, knew how to unlock the gun locker and "was familiar with the firearm".
Edwards was charged with third-degree felony child endangering and the first-degree misdemeanour and remains at Ashland County Jail.