Madera Sheriff’s daughter shoots sister with father’s gun

Fresno police are investigating an incident in which a Madera County sheriff’s lieutenant’s 10-year-old daughter shot her younger sister Friday morning.

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. near Bullard and Cornelia avenues. Fresno Police Lt. Joe Gomez said officers found an 8-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to her torso. She was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center and is in stable condition.

Gomez said preliminary findings are that the girls’ father was getting ready for work and had his handgun on the bed of his bedroom while he was in the bathroom. The magazine was removed from the weapon but there was a round in the chamber. The 10-year-old grabbed the gun, “manipulated it” and one round discharged, hitting the younger girl in the lower torso. Gomez said the lieutenant immediately called 911 for an ambulance and also notified Fresno police, who sped to the home.

Gomez said he spoke with the girl and that she was in good condition and her wound did not appear to be life-threatening. He said it would be up to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether the lieutenant would face legal consequences, but added “we absolutely support him in this very difficult time — and his family — and what they are going through right now.”

Bill Ward of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said the incident would be treated as a confidential personnel matter and would not issue any additional comment on the matter.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

- Fresno Bee