Mom Arrested on Suspicion of Child Abuse After 7-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Shot His 3-Year-Old Sister When He Found the Loaded Gun She Left By the Couch

A mother has been arrested after her 7-year-old son found an unsecured firearm inside their home and accidentally shot his 3-year-old sister.

According to CBS 4, the Colorado family was home Tuesday morning as the two children engaged in a game of “swords” with each other. The 3-year-old, identified as Ruby Jackson, was using a broomstick during the game before her brother stumbled upon the .12 gauge shotgun.

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Mom Arrested on Suspicion of Child Abuse After 7-Year-Old Accidentally Shot His 3-Year-Old Sister

The affidavit obtained by CBS 4 revealed that shotgun was discharged while the boy was holding it and the bullet struck his little sister. The gunshot killed the 3-year-old. According to the children’s mother, Michaela Dawn Harman, 24, she was outside smoking a cigarette when the gun went off.

The 911 call was placed at 10:21 a.m., The Denver Channel reported. According to responding police officers, when they entered the home and asked for anyone inside the home to reveal themselves so that they could account for everyone, the 7-year-old appeared at the top of the stairs, with his hands up, and told the officers, “I’m sorry, I was playing with the gun. I didn’t know it was loaded.”

mom arrested on suspicion of child abuse after 7-year-old boy accidentally shot his 3-year-old sister when he found the loaded gun she left by the couch | "i’m sorry, i was playing with the gun. i didn’t know it was loaded.”
Westminster Police Department

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He and a younger 2-year-old sibling were removed from the home and placed in the temporary care of a child welfare worker. And Harman was then arrested on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death. However, she has yet to be formally charged.

As the affidavit stated, Harman admitted that as soon as she heard the gun go off, she remembered leaving the shotgun near the couch as she was falling asleep the night before. Harman said she made the choice to sleep with the gun next to her because she feared someone was breaking into her home.

Three days prior to the incident, Harman notified the police three different times that she heard voices, specifically men’s voices, in her garage and basement. Each time, according to the affidavit, the responding police officers never found any evidence of other people being in Harman’s home.

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