The 8-year-old boy seemed to know what he was doing when took the rifle from the gun locker at the Hayesville, Ohio home (about 71 miles southwest of Cleveland), authorities said.
The ammunition was stored separately from the gun, said Ashland County Prosecutor Christopher Tunnell. But Tunnell said the boy was able to load the magazine and “chamber the first round,” the Canton Repository reported.
The boy and his sister weren’t supposed to be home alone Saturday, Tunnell said. Their mother’s husband believed she was taking the two children to a babysitter after the two left for work, the Repository reported. Instead, Alyssa Edwards, 27, left them at the house, Tunnell said.
It was during that time that the boy got ahold of the small-caliber rifle and shot his sister, 4, multiple times, authorities said, FOX 8 reported.
Edwards was then contacted at work, and came home, Tunnell said. When she got there she cleaned up a bed cover with blood on it, examined the girl, knowing she was injured, and “clocked back in at work” about an hour later, he said, the news station reported, leaving the children home alone again.
Edwards came home again later that afternoon and took the children to the hospital after urine appeared to be leaking out of the girl’s wound, Tunnell said, the Repository reported. The hospital contacted authorities, and Edwards’ husband later learned of the shooting, police said.
Edwards was arrested and charged with child endangering, ABC 5 said. The boy was removed from the home, authorities said.
Authorities haven’t said if the shooting was intentional or accidental, the news station said.