A man has been charged in the shooting death of his own daughter.
Maurice Phillips is charged with 3rd degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and recklessly endangering another person, according to police.
Phillips confessed early Sunday morning to shooting his 4-year-old daughter in the face inside a home on Mayfield Street near B Street just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday, a police source told NBC10. Police say as many as seven children were inside the home at the time.
Phillips allegedly told police he was handling his semiautomatic handgun and accidentally shot his daughter. Police had initially believed that the little girl’s 5-year-old sibling had found Phillips’ gun and accidentally shot her.
Police are still investigating and trying to determine whether the man's claim that the shooting was an accident is true.
Police said Phillips fled the scene after the shooting. He later surrendered to police and remained in custody Sunday morning. Police also recovered the weapon, a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, at the scene, officials said.
News of the little girl's tragic death left neighbors in the community plagued by gun violence reeling.
"She was full of life," said Crystal Dougherty, a family friend, as she wept near the scene of the shooting. "She was always willing to help. She was a great big sister to her little brother."