CORNELIUS, N.C. — A mother of five in North Carolina was shot and killed by accident after authorities say her children found a gun in the woman’s purse.
The Cornelius Police Department says its officers responded to the family’s apartment in the Charlotte area shortly before 7 p.m. Monday after the shooting was reported.
When officers arrived, police say they located the mother, 25-year-old Gabriel Alexis Henderson, in a back bedroom and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say a small semi-automatic handgun was found on the bed in the bedroom.
After speaking with witnesses, detectives say they determined the only people inside the apartment at the time of the shooting were the victim and her five kids.
“Four of the juveniles were in the room at the time of the shooting and detectives believe the juveniles found the gun inside the mother's purse,” police wrote in a statement. “The mother was inadvertently shot, as well as the youngest child. The oldest child was in the living room, away from the others, when the incident occurred.”
The child who was shot was transported to a Charlotte hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
WBTV reports that a sign on the property says no guns are allowed at the complex. The TV station also spoke to a neighbor, Juanita Johnson, who said the apartment management is pretty strict about their rules.
“They got rid of all the troublemakers, so it’s been good so far,” Johnson said. “Haven’t had no problems.”
Johnson added that she’s worried about what’s going to happen to the children now that their mother is gone.