Philadelphia Girl, 3, Accidentally Shoots Self in Leg; Grandma, Father Face Charges

A little girl in southwest Philadelphia shot herself in the thigh Sunday after finding her father's gun and now that father and the girl's grandmother face charges, police said. 

The shooting occurred inside a home in the 1300 block of South Wilton Street in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia.

The girl's father, Terrance Williams, told detectives that he always locks up his .40 caliber handgun, but he was running late Sunday afternoon and asked his mother to hide the weapon while he was away but she fell asleep instead, police said.

"You have these parents who want to have guns - and you have the right to own a gun - but when you have children, you have a bigger responsibility to make sure that gun is put away," police Lt. John Walker said.

Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia performed surgery on the 3-year-old in hopes of saving her leg, police said.

Police say the father asked the grandmother to secure his gun, but officials say she put it in an unlocked closet and fell asleep.

A gun was recovered at the scene, police said.

Police charged the grandmother, Barbara McGill, and Williams both with child endangerment charges. The 64-year-old grandmother also was charged with tampering with evidence because police say she attempted to hide the gun.

A voicemail left for the public defender's organization representing McGill, who posted bail, was not immediately returned. Contact information for Williams' attorney was not immediately available.

Sunday's shooting is the fourth such accident this fall, officials said.

"It's sickening to see little kids going to hospitals with gunshot wounds," Walker said.

Earlier this month, a 2-year-old in Olney shot himself and died. At the end of October, a 6-year-old shot his 3-year-old brother inside their home. And one month earlier, another 3-year-old shot his uncle. The guns in all of these incidents were not properly locked or stored, officials said.

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