WASHINGTON — A Winchester man has been arrested and charged with felony child abuse after authorities said he left a gun near a toddler who picked it up and accidentally shot a 4-year-old girl in Fauquier County.
“This child was shot in the rear seat of a vehicle while it was parked,” said Sgt. James Hartman with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.
According to investigators, a man and woman were traveling with three children from Winchester to Colonial Beach when they stopped at a truck stop in the Opal area of the county on Friday.
The adults left the children alone and unsupervised in the car, sheriff’s officials said.
That is when the 2-year-old boy picked up the gun and accidentally fired it, hitting the girl in her upper body.
“Deputies searched for the vehicle and these folks, and several hours later we were notified by authorities in Westmoreland County that they had encountered these individuals at a local hotel,” Hartman said.
Authorities arrested Isaiah Davis, 26, of Winchester, and he was charged with multiple counts including felony child abuse and neglect.
The investigation is ongoing and more charges could be filed, officials said.
It was not clear whether the children are related to Davis or the woman.
“Detectives responded to Westmoreland County and also to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg to meet with the victim and talk to witnesses,” said Hartman.
Investigators said the girl was not immediately taken in for medical attention by the adults she was with. After authorities tracked the group down, she was treated at a trauma center and released.
“There are many ways to safely secure a firearm,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement. “The sheriff’s office strongly encourages the safe and secure storage of firearms to prevent access by children.”
Under Virginia law, it is illegal to leave a loaded, unsecured gun in a place where someone under the age of 14 can get their hands on it.
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