7-Year-Old Killed By Toddler In Accidental Shooting Off Lewis Street

Posted at 2:43 PM, Jun 06, 2017

A 7-year-old girl was shot and killed after a gun being handled by her 2-year-old cousin discharged, fatally striking the older girl. 

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed the devastating news Tuesday afternoon. 

The girl has been identified as Harmony Warfield. Family members said Harmony was a second-grade student who got straight As.

The shooting happened inside an apartment at the JC Napier Homes off the 700 block of Lewis Street, just north of Lafayette Street south of downtown Nashville. 

Officials at the emergency dispatch center confirmed officers first responded to the scene after the call came in around 12:30 p.m.

The victim was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead from her injuries. 

Police said their preliminary investigation confirmed witness reports that the toddler fired the weapon. 

Harmony did not live at the apartment, but was visiting her 2-year-old cousin as she often did. 

Neighbors were shaken by the news of the death of such a young girl. 

"All I heard was that a child accidentally killed another child, and it hurts. It hurts really bad," said neighbor Sheron Brown. "I've been crying like it was my own child and I don't even know the children that were involved. It's a sad, sad day."

Officials from the Safe Tennessee Project released a statement Tuesday evening saying these kinds of shootings are not accidents, but a result of the improper storage of firearms. 

"Once again, we see the tragic consequence of negligent firearm storage," said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for organization. "This continues to be a problem in our country and especially here in our state. This is the fourth child killed this year as a direct result of an adult's choice to leave a loaded gun unsecured. These shootings are not accidents. They are fully preventable tragedies. We will continue to raise awareness about safe storage and we will continue to advocate to hold adults responsible when their irresponsible actions lead to a child's injury or death."

"I pray for my community every day, because a lot of lives are being lost and they're getting younger and younger - and it hurts," said Brown. 

It was not clear if anyone else was home at the time of the shooting, or if charges of any kind would be filed against anyone else at the home. 

Police were still at the apartment talking to witnesses. Representatives of the Metro Police Youth Services Division were also at the scene.