In yet another shooting incident in the US involving toddlers, a five-year-old boy shot and killed his four-year-old sister inside their home in Philadelphia.
The girl, whose mother rarely let her or her siblings play outside their Kensington home because of chronic violence in the area, was shot dead inside her home on Saturday by her brother, police said.
The girl, whose name has not been released by police, was shot once in the face and was pronounced dead at the scene by medics.
Police said a semi-automatic pistol was recovered.
Captain James Clark of the city’s homicide division said investigators were working to find and interview everyone who was in the house at the time of the shooting.
The girl’s father, Maurice “Stephon” Phillips, 30, could not be located after the shooting, Clark said.
“We desperately need to find the father, who for whatever reason, fled the scene. We’re looking for him,” Clark was quoted as saying by Philly.com.
Phillips’ current Facebook cover photo, posted on February 14, shows a semi-automatic pistol with a box of hollow point bullets.
Another photo, mixed in with images of children, shows what appears to be an assault rifle.
Several neighbours identified the girl’s mother as Tera Riddick. They said she and Phillips are the parents of six children, four daughters and two sons.
Neighbour Louise Sawyer said Riddick has been quite protective, rarely letting them out to play for fear of violence.
She would say, “No, I’m not bringing these kids out with this trouble,” Sawyer said.
Yesterday was a particularly bloody day for children across the country.
A one-year-old was shot in the neck in Chicago and an infant was shot in the face and killed in Detroit.
Last month, in a tragic incident, a two-year-old girl was critically injured after she reportedly shot herself in the head in California.