x

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

4-year-old girl accidentally shot in face by sibling | Police search for gun's owner

Here is what we know.

LAGRANGE, Ga. — A 4-year-old is in the hospital after police believe she was accidentally shot by a sibling Monday afternoon.

The investigation has also led to warrants being obtained for one person's arrest in the case. 

LaGrange Police said that just after 2 p.m. they were told to respond to Kelley Street for a call about a child shot. But while they were en route, a second call about a child hurt was dispatched to Speedy Serve, a convenience store on Whitesville Street.

When they arrived, they determined that a little girl had been shot in the face while on Kelley Street. 

"Information obtained during the initial investigation indicates that the shooting was accidental," police said in a news release. 

READ: Man arrested after 5-year-old accidentally kills brother with gun found in woods

Police said Leemarkese Deangelo Melson allegedly left a loaded gun within reach of the children.

"It is believed that the victim's 6-year-old sibling located the weapon and was playing with it, causing it to discharge and strike the 4-year-old in the face," police said in the news release.

After the shooting, police said Melson left the scene and took the weapon with him.  They said he is a convicted felon who was already wanted for two counts of violation of probation and one count of failure to appear. 

Credit: LaGrange Police
Leemarkese Deangelo Melson

Warrants have been obtained for Melson's arrest for cruelty to a child in the second degree, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and tampering with evidence. 

As for the injured child, she was taken a hospital in Columbus and was later transported to Egleston Hospital of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Police said the child is listed in critical but stable condition.

Anyone with information regarding Melson's whereabouts is urged to contact the LaGrange Police Department, Troup County 911, or Troup County Crimestoppers at (706)812-1000.

Man, woman face charges after child is killed while playing with a gun at Bartow County campground

There have been other recent reports of children hurt in shootings. 

A young child was killed at a campsite in Bartow County after apparently playing with a pistol on Saturday night, according to the sheriff's office.

On the evening of May 9, police in Griffin said a 5-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 12-year-old brother.  Officers said they were able to determine that the 5-year-old had found a gun nearby and thought it was a toy.  

Charges were filed against adults in both cases. 

OTHER HEADLINES 

Tracking COVID-19: Georgia Coronavirus Interactive map

President Trump says he's been taking malaria drug to protect against COVID-19

You can now call the IRS with your stimulus check questions