Father, 42, is charged with child endangerment after his five-year-old daughter was shot dead by another child with his gun
- A five-year-old girl was shot dead in Merced, California, on Thursday
- Authorities believed a young family member accidentally shot the girl with an unsecured firearm
- Rodney Matthews, the girl’s father, drove her to the hospital before sparking a ‘high-speed pursuit’ with authorities
- He was charged with child endangerment,as well as other felonies and misdemeanors
- There have been at least 229 unintentional shootings by children this year, leaving 87 dead and 139 injured
Rodney Matthews (pictured in mugshot) was arrested and charged by police in Merced, California
A father was charged with child endangerment after his five-year-old daughter was shot dead with an unsecured gun by a young family member, authorities said.
In addition to child endangerment, the Merced Police Department charged Rodney Matthews, 42, with felony reckless driving while evading police and a prohibited person in possession of firearms and ammunition.
The tragic incident happened in Merced, California, on Thursday, when authorities dispatched to a residential neighborhood over reports of a gunshot.
Authorities discovered a five-year-old little girl was struck and driven by Matthews to Mercy Hospital just two miles away. The girl later died from her injuries.
‘After a preliminary investigation, detectives believe the 5 year old victim was accidentally shot by another juvenile family member.’ authorities said.
After dropping off his daughter, Matthews was spotted leaving the hospital.
Authorities arrived to a residential area on Thursday afternoon in Merced, California, after reports of a gun shot
‘Officers attempted to stop the subject, but the driver refused to stop and engaged in a high-speed pursuit,’ authorities added.
Officers eventually pulled over Matthews, who told them he was trying to rush back to the other children at the home, ABC 30 reports.
He also admitted that the suspected gun belonged to him and that it was left in a bedroom with no proper locks, CNN reports.
Authorities engaged in a ‘high-speed pursuit’ with Matthews after he left Mercy Hospital, where his daughter died from her injuries
Matthews was placed in the Merced County Sheriff’s Main jail and given a $801,183 bond.
The Gun Violence Archive reports that 1,063 children under the age of 18 have been killed by guns, while 2,926 have been injured.
The Gun Safety Support Fund said there have been at least 229 unintentional shootings by children this year, leaving 87 dead and 139 injured.