GLENDALE, Ariz. — A gun safety lesson went horribly wrong between an Arizona man and his daughter on Thursday.
According to reports from WFLX, 26-year-old Eldon McInville was teaching his 6-year-old daughter about the importance of firearm safety when he accidently shot her.
He called 911 and was arrested and taken to jail when units responded.
According to McInville, he had just purchased a brand new shotgun and had been watching YouTube videos on how to properly clean and load the weapon. He told authorities it was his first time cleaning and loading it.
After it was loaded, McInville claims the shotgun ‘slipped’ and went off, hitting his daughter in the stomach. On the call with dispatchers, he said that the 6-year-old’s ‘intestines were visible’.
Requiring immediate surgery, the young girl was airlifted to a nearby hospital and given treatment right away.
An Arizona man told police he was teaching his 6-year-old daughter about “gun safety” when the loaded firearm he was cleaning discharged and shot her. #azleg
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) April 28, 2019
Authorities say she was one of the strongest little girls they had ever seen.
“They said she was the bravest, strongest girl they’ve ever seen. She was talking. She wasn’t crying. She was asking questions as any 6-year-old would do,” said Sgt. John Roth with the Glendale Police Department.
So why was a man with little-to-no skill with a new weapon taking the opportunity to provide a lesson in safety? He was clearly not ready, said a firearms safety expert.
“The real issue is it’s kind of the blind leading the blind in this situation,” Virgil Bland said. “He’s trying to teach his daughter firearm safety when it sounds like, more or less, he was trying to learn firearm safety in his own right.”
Police also found a .357 magnum in the same room, stored in an area that was easily accessible to the young girl.
McInville was arraigned in court on Friday, and became visibly upset, crying when a judge told him that he could not return home. His bond was set at $50,000, however he will not be able to see his daughter before the trial even if this bail was posted.
He faces charges of child abuse and aggravated assault for his actions. The judge called the tragic accident “exceedingly reckless,” noting that his bond would be substantially higher were it not an accident.
Gun owners and those that plan to purchase firearms in the future should take this painful lesson to heart. Be aware of your surroundings. Study each individual firearm and its safety features. The biggest lesson? Be an expert yourself before passing along tips to others. Take a real class instead of relying on YouTube.
The 6-year-old girl remains in critical condition in the hospital. Doctors say she’ll have to undergo more surgeries before she is released.