A hunter accidentally shot and killed his 11-year-old daughter while they were hunting near their East Texas hometown, investigators said Monday.
In a statement, the Harrison County Sheriff's Office in Marshall, Texas, said it received multiple reports shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday of a hunting accident just east of Hallsville, Texas. Callers said a Hallsville man accidentally shot his daughter Daisy Grace Lynn George with a high-powered rifle while hunting.
At a Monday news conference, Sheriff B.J. Fletcher said the pair had returned to the father's truck where he tried to clear the hammer of his rifle. He had believed the firearm was no longer loaded when he dropped the hammer, but a round was still chambered, the sheriff said.
"He had thought he had cleared the gun, but unfortunately, he hadn't," Fletcher said. The rifle discharged, striking the girl as she was either about to get into the truck or had just gotten into the truck, Fletcher said.
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Low clouds grounded a requested helicopter airlift, so an ambulance transported the girl 12 miles (19 kilometers) to a Longview hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Fletcher said there was nothing to suggest the shooting was anything but a tragic accident. "Any time a young person loses their life, it's tragic for everybody involved," he said.
Grief counselors have been coordinated for faculty and students at the girl's school.
Hallsville has about 4,300 residents and is 12 miles (19 kilometers) west of Marshall and 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of Dallas.