Police said the father of a 4-year-old girl killed in a Philadelphia neighborhood confessed to having shot her accidentally.
Authorities were not sure if the man, later identified as Maurice Phillips, was her father or stepfather, but he said he told the police it was him.
It was originally believed that the girl was shot dead by her little brother.
Investigators said the girl was shot in the face by Phillips at a home in Kensington shortly before 2:30 PM. The emergency medical staff declared her dead at the scene.
Police said earlier that the girl was shot by her 5-year-old brother and was searching for the child’s father or stepfather, who was believed to have owned the gun used. But Phillips turned himself in on Saturday night and ultimately said he, not the other kid, was in charge, the watchdog. Said Eric Grip on Sunday.
“After the investigation, he confessed to shooting the victim by mistake, and stated that the brother had nothing to do with it,” said Jarib.
Phillips is accused of third-degree murder, manslaughter and endangering a child’s welfare. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.
Neighbor Louise Sawyer said the girl’s mother was very protective of her, and she rarely allowed her children to go out to play for fear of violence in a neighborhood where gunfire and drugs were a constant concern.
“No, I’m not bringing these kids out with this problem,” Sawyer told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Crystal Dougherty, who said she was a friend of the family, said the little girl who died was cute and loved Barbie dolls and coloring.
“She was just a little girl,” she said.