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Boy, 5, shoots 3-year-old girl in apparent accident

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(MINNEAPOLIS) — A little girl is in intensive care after being shot with a rifle by a 5-year-old boy in an apparent accident.

The boy wounded the girl with a .22-caliber rifle, according to Lieutenant Keith Van Dyke of the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department in western Minnesota.

The 3-year-old girl was in stable condition, authorities said Monday.

The sheriff’s office received a 911 call around 7:30 a.m. Sunday saying that a 5-year-old had shot the little girl.

“We believe it was an accident,” Van Dyke told ABC News. “But the investigation of the incident continues alongside the county’s Child Protective Services department.”

Van Dyke added that criminal child endangerment charges are possible if the gun owner “created a dangerous environment by carelessly leaving the firearm in an area accessible to children.”

Authorities said it will be some time before a decision is made about those potential charges.

The investigation has been slowed because family members authorities want to interview have been by the girl’s bedside three hours away.

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