• U.S.
  • Crime

‘I Thought It Was Empty.’ Dad Fatally Shoots Daughter During Gun Safety Lesson

2 minute read

An Indiana man has been charged for fatally shooting his 9-year-old daughter in the head while teaching his two sons about gun safety.

On June 10, Eric Hummel, 33, from Hobart, Indiana, was telling his sons about the dangers of playing with guns when his daughter Olivia walked into the room, People, citing court documents, reports. Unaware that the gun was loaded, he said he pointed it toward her and fired.

Hummel has since been charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, battery resulting in death to a person less than 14 years old, reckless homicide, and, in addition, two counts of neglect of a dependent, People reports. Hummel, who has entered a not guilty plea, faces 20 to 40 years on the neglect of a dependent resulting in death charge, which is a Level 1 felony, according to People.

“She’s dead, she’s dead. I thought it was empty, you can kill,” Hummel told the police officer who arrived on the scene, according to a police report obtained by People.

“I was showing the boys the gun and told them not to ever play with it because it can kill someone, then she walked in in the room and I pointed it at her and pulled the trigger, thinking it was empty,” he continued, according to People.

Before the officer arrived, Hummel had allegedly been doing chest compressions on Olivia.

“Please don’t go. Oh my God. Please don’t go,” he said, according to Hummel’s 5-minute 911 call obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Both of Hummel’s sons, one 9 years old and the other 10 years old, told police that the gun wasn’t loaded at first. However, Hummel’s 9-year-old son said that his father later loaded the gun, according to People. Shortly after, Olivia walked in to the room, and Hummel — who his son said forgot the gun was loaded — turned around.

Moments before shooting, Hummel allegedly said, “See don’t play with guns” and then shot, the 9-year-old told police, People reports.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com