Mom mistakes gun for cigarette lighter, shoots daughter

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Mom mistakes gun for cigarette lighter, shoots daughter
BANNING, CALIFORNIA, (BDCi)—A woman accidently shot her 12-year daughter after pulling the trigger of a tiny revolver, confusing it for a novelty cigarette lighter, authorities said Thursday.

The 30-year-old mother, Rachel Avila and her daughter were talking to friends in front of their mobile home in this inland southern California town when she saw what appeared to her as a novelty cigarette lighter on the ground, said officials. She picked it up to light a cigarette but instead of a flame, a bullet shot out.

“The bullet struck the ground, and then ricocheted upward and entered her daughter’s upper right arm,” Banning Police Sgt. Alex Diaz told reporters.

The young girl sustained a “superficial” wound added the police spokesman and was taken to the hospital on Sunday evening and released.

Diaz said the mistaken cigarette item resembled a 22 caliber, derringer style mini revolver.

“We’re looking into the gun, how it got there and who left it there,” he followed.

The police offered advice to the community at large that if a similar item is found, “Don’t handle the object and call local law enforcement for assistance.”

Writer: Shayla Selva
Source: Los Angeles Times, KPSP Local 2
Date: July 28, 2011
Time: 11:40a.m. P.D.T.

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