9-Year-Old May Lose Fingers After Wounding Herself With Rifle

A 9-year-old girl was wounded in the hand Friday after an Evansville, Ind. man allowed her and two other children to hold a firearm, the Evansville Courier & Press reported Sunday.

According to the Evansville Police Department, Gilbert Ricketts, 48, allowed three children, ages 10, 9, and 8, to hold his .22-caliber rifle. Ricketts told police that since he had the permission of at least one of the children’s parents, he removed the rifle’s magazine and allowed them to hold it. He told police he was unaware that a round had been left in its chamber.

The 9-year-old was taken to the hospital with multiple wounds to her left hand after the rifle discharged while she held it.  The girl’s fingers may need to be amputated, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Ricketts faces a charge of dangerous control of a firearm. Police say tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.053 at the time of the incident.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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