8-Year-Old Playing with Gun Kills Tot Sister

Several guns taken from house

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Police took several guns from the house.

    Vacaville police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was shot to death by her brother.

    Investigators say they believe the girl's 8-year-old stepbrother was playing with a handgun at about 2:15 p.m. The gun fired, hitting the toddler in the head.

    The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

    The parents were downstairs at the time and police say there were several other guns at the home. Vacaville police Sgt. Jeff King said investigators believe the gun belongs to the boy's father, an active U.S. Army reservist.

    Relatives rushing to the scene could barely take the news.

    "She is so cute." The girl's grandmother, Ayana Shanahan said. "She calls me 'mamaw' and I rock her to sleep every weekend. I am teaching her to ride her bike and she's got the most beautiful personality."

    Officers took six other guns -- rifles, shotguns and pistols -- from the house and investigators questioned the parents.

    It appears some of the guns were inherited, police said, and not all were functioning.

    A sign on the home's front door reads "Violators will be shot -- Survivors will be shot again."

    No charges have been filed but the parents could be held responsible. One of the charges that could be filed against the parents is a  felony violation of a California penal code that requires a locking device on a loaded firearm. The penal code resulting in great  bodily injury or death is punishable by a 16-month, two- or three-year state  prison term and a fine of up to $10,000.

    "It is the Legislature's intent that a parent or guardian of a  child who is injured or who dies as a result of an accidental shooting shall  be prosecuted only in those instances in which the parent or guardian behaved in a grossly negligent manner or where similarly egregious circumstances  exist," reads penal code 12035.

    The boy is in protective custody.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.