A 33-year-old woman visiting Doral accidentally shot her 9-year-old daughter in the leg inside their hotel room on Friday, Doral police said.
According to a police report, Lekisha Gilmore, of Jacksonville, along with her five children and a close friend, were staying at the Extended Stay America on NW 21st Terrace the night of the incident. They were in town on a mini-vacation for the holidays.
“Everything happened so fast,” Gilmore told the Miami Herald. “We were getting ready to go the mall and my daughter was getting out of the shower when the gun went off.”
It was 8:38 p.m. on Friday when several police officers responded to the hotel in reference to a shooting. Here is what police said happened:
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
“According to Lekisha, she was cleaning her 9mm handgun at the table located by the kitchen of the hotel room. She stated she usually does not do this with everyone in the room, her five children and her friend Michelle Montford,” Officer S. Borges said in his report. “Lekisha said she cleared the gun, racked the slide, and suddenly the gun went off. She then heard her daughter yell out from inside the bathroom. The round had traveled from where Lekisha was sitting with the gun, through the closed bathroom door, and struck her daughter’s leg as she was standing inside the bathroom.”
Police tied a bath towel to her leg to stop the bleeding.
The girl was taken to Miami Children’s Hospital and is expected to be fine, Doral police spokesman Carlos Arango said.
“All testimony and physical evidence point to an accidental shooting and foul play is not suspected at this time,” Arango said. “[The Department of Children and Families] has been notified and will follow-up with the family since they live in Jacksonville. There are no criminal charges at this time since the shooting was accidental.”
Arango said the first person on the scene was Acting Sergeant Scott Demby.
“His quick actions may very well have saved the life of a 9-year-old girl,” he said. “The young girl suffered serious gunshot injuries to her leg which, left untreated, would most likely have resulted in her death.”
Gilmore told the Herald she decided to surprise her kids with the “mini vacation because they wanted to see the Miami beaches.”
But then, the single mom, who says she carries the gun for protection said “it all went wrong.”
“It feels like a bad dream,” she said. “It was scary for everybody.”
Gilmore added that she feels “overwhelmed with guilt, even if it was an accident.”
“I would never hurt my child,” she said. “As a mother, you’re supposed to protect your child. I understand it was an accident, but you don’t understand and can’t imagine how much this is weighing down on me.”
Follow @MoniqueOMadan on Twitter.