Man charged after boy, 9, ‘accidentally shoots sister, 6, with hand gun’

The man allegedly left his loaded gun attended. Source: Getty

A man has been charged after a nine-year-old boy allegedly found his loaded gun and accidentally shot his little sister.

Detectives from the Cairns Child Protection Investigation Unit have alleged the 47-year-old man from Cairns, in Far North Queensland, had left his glock pistol unattended in a bedroom last Friday, after becoming distracted while cleaning it. It’s then they said that the nine-year-old boy found it.

The boy was allegedly playing with the weapon when it discharged, accidentally shooting his six-year-old sister. She was rushed to the nearby Cairns Hospital by ambulance where she was treated for a non-life threatening injury.

“Police allege the man was cleaning a glock pistol at his home around 6pm on May 24,” Far North Police said in a statement.

“Police allege the man became distracted and left the loaded weapon unattended in a bedroom. It’s further alleged a nine-year-old boy was playing with the weapon when it discharged, shooting his six-year-old sister.”

Detectives have since charged the man with one count each of grievous bodily harm, fail to keep a weapon unloaded, failure to keep weapon secure, contravening a licence condition, unlawful possession of a category R weapon and possession of a telescopic baton.

Speaking out about the terrible incident, Detective Acting Inspector Kev Goan urged others to be wary of guns around the home and where they are stored in the house.

“This is a timely reminder to all those who possess firearms must take reasonable precautions to ensure the firearm is safely stored and that it doesn’t come into the possession of a person who is not authorised to possess a firearm,” he said.

Goan further added to the ABC: “They are an otherwise law-abiding family. It could have been catastrophic. Then that sibling would grow up knowing he had taken the life of a younger sibling.

Read more: Australian gun laws prevent 16 mass shootings: study

“The impacts of what has actually occurred [are] devastating as it is. If you’ve got a gun, lock it up.”

The man is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrate Court on June 13.

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