• U.S.

South Carolina Father Kills 2-Year-Old While Attempting to Make His Gun ‘Safe,’ Police Say

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A South Carolina father accidentally fired his gun Thursday evening while trying to make it “safe,” killing his 2-year-old daughter and injuring his 4-year-old daughter.

While “attempting to make the weapon safe,” the 30-year-old father accidentally fired the gun, striking his hand and both his daughters in the upper body, the Richland County sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Two-year-old Heaven Miller died from the gunshot wound, the sheriff said. Both the father and his 4-year-old daughter suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The father was cleaning his gun on the family’s porch when it went off after he sat on it, the State newspaper reported.

The sheriff’s department is investigating the shooting as accidental.

“Right now, it just looks like an accidental shooting,” Sheriff Leon Lott told the State.

The girls’ pregnant mother was at the house during the shooting, the State reported. She was taken to the hospital but the baby was not born.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com