The girl, a 1-year-old boy, and their pregnant mother were waiting in a car parked outside a northwestern Indiana thrift store while the woman’s boyfriend was inside the store. The man, who is the girl’s father, apparently left a loaded gun in the car and the girl got hold of the gun and accidentally shot the pregnant mother.
The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon in Merrillville, Indiana. The woman, who has now been identified as 21-year-old Shaniqua Thomas, is listed in critical but stable condition. Detective Sgt. James Bogner says the girl “had no idea what she had done and she was very scared.”
Police say the man is being held on suspicion of child endangerment. The children have been placed into protective custody. Police say the family lives in Michigan City.