11-year-old girl dies after father shoots her in Texas hunting accident, authorities say
HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KSLA/Gray News) — An 11-year-old girl died after being accidentally shot by her father on a hunting lease on Saturday, police said.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office identified the girl as Daisy Grace Lynn George on Sunday morning. She was enrolled in the sixth grade in the Hallsville, Texas, Independent School District, KSLA reported.
Sheriff’s office dispatchers began receiving calls about 5:15 p.m. Saturday about a hunting accident involving an 11-year-old girl, according to a news release.
Authorities learned that the child’s father had accidentally shot her with a high-powered rifle on a hunting lease a couple miles from downtown Hallsville, said the statement released by Harrison County sheriff’s Capt. Tyler Owen.
The 11-year-old gunshot victim had life-threatening injuries. Medics requested a helicopter, but all helicopters had been grounded due to inclement weather in the region.
Emergency personnel took the wounded child to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center. Harrison sheriff’s deputies, Hallsville police officers and Texas DPS personnel escorted them to the Longview, Texas, hospital.
“After lifesaving efforts were administered, the 11-year-old female was pronounced deceased,” the news release stated.
Harrison County Sheriff Brandon J. “BJ” Fletcher held a news conference Monday afternoon to address the accident.
He highlighted the fact that dispatchers had a hard time communicating with the girl’s father, Travis George, because of a poor cellphone signal; he had to call back multiple times. First responders were eventually able to locate the pair after he used a siren to help guide them to the area.
Fletcher said the father told them he thought he had spent two cartridges while in the stand and remembered loading four into the rifle. He says he ejected two near the vehicle. Then, when he went to clear the hammer, the gun went off.
The sheriff says the rifle was lying in one of the seats as Daisy was getting into the truck or had already gotten in when she was shot.
The sheriff went on to say that they do believe this was an accident and that, at this time, they do not anticipate arresting Travis. That could change as the investigation unfolds.
During the news conference, Fletcher reiterated the importance of gun safety. He said guns should always be treated as if they are loaded.
The sheriff also said that it’s very important for people to know where they are while hunting so first responders can find them in case of an emergency such as this.
He added that this has been an emotional case to work and that it’s a tragedy to see a young person lose their life this way.
“It’s very unfortunate the way it turned out and I hope we don’t see another one,” Fletcher said.
A Harrison County sheriff’s investigator, a crime scene investigator and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden are continuing to investigate the child’s death.
The sheriff’s office and the Hallsville ISD Superintendent John Martin are coordinating grief counselors for all faculty members and students affected by this sudden loss.
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