Tragic news to report. Maliyah Palmer, a 6-year-old girl in Florissant, Missouri, was reportedly shot and killed by her brother Friday evening. She was shot by her 12-year-old brother who found the 9mm pistol inside a dresser in his parents’ bedroom, according to Fox2 Now. He fired the gun and his sister was near him. Maliyah was shot in the head and later died at the hospital. The parents were at a Christmas party at the time of the shooting and the children were reportedly being watch by a 16-year-old babysitter.
According to The Post-Dispatch, Timothy Lowery, the police chief said, “All of the officers who responded to the scene are mothers and fathers, so you can only imagine how personal it is to see a child shot in the back of the head. We will have counselors here for a debriefing hopefully this week to make sure the mental state of our officers is OK.” He continued, “You couldn’t have written a more tragic script, the whole thing is just so tragic and terrible, but we have to put our personal feelings aside and do the law enforcement side of this.”
As of now, it has not been determined if charges will be filed against the parents.
Maliyah’s school, Green Trails Elementary School, released the following statement to students and parents, “It is difficult to find the right words to convey this information, but necessary so that we all work together to support this family, our students, staff, and community.”
Accidental shooting among children is disturbingly high in the U.S. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns — 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns” and “among children, the majority (89%) of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home. Most of these deaths occur when children are playing with a loaded gun in their parent’s absence.”
Our condolences go out to Maliyah Palmer’s family.