A pregnant mother of two was accidentally shot and killed by her 3-year-old daughter in northwest Indiana.
The tragic accident occurred outside Plato’s Closet in Merrillville.
The police chief said the mother, 21-year-old Shaniki Thomas, was hit once in the upper torso. She was rushed to a local hospital and then airlifted to Loyola Medical Center.
She is in critical condition but stable.
Personnel inside Plato’s cupboard rushed outside to help after the shooting.
Police say the Michigan city family parked the car in front of Plato’s Closet and that the children’s father and the victim’s friend placed his legal 9mm handgun between the console and the front passenger seat.
Then he entered the store
Merrillville Police Chief says it appears the 3-year-old climbed into the front seat, grabbed the pistol, pulled the trigger, and punched her mother through the back of the seat through her upper right shoulder.
Police say the woman, who is 4 to 6 weeks old, got out of the driver’s seat and opened the back door where her children were, but collapsed.
Witnesses called 911 and officers arrived to find the 3-year-old frightened and an unscathed 1-year-old boy still in the car seat.
The president says this could have been prevented.
Charges have not been brought, but the father – 21-year-old Menzo Prazier – is being held for endangering the children. He also had a Porter County warrant for traffic violations.
Children with child protection services.