INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A 5-year-old girl who was accidentally shot in the head inside a northeast side apartment on New Year’s Eve has died.
The girl, identified as D’asia Turentine, spent several days on life-support at Riley Hospital, but has since passed away, according to IMPD Major Richard Riddle.
“Obviously we’re dealing with a tragedy,” said IMPD Sgt Kendale Adams. “Any time a child dies for any reason it truly is a travesty.”
Detectives are still gathering information about the circumstances of the girl’s death. Police say the shooting occurred during the afternoon of New Year’s Eve at the Carriage House East Apartments, near 42nd and Mitthoefer. Investigators believe the girl’s 3-year-old brother accidentally shot his sister after getting the gun out of their mother’s purse.
Nobody has been arrested or charged in the shooting, but that is still a possibility. Detectives are expected to present their findings to the Marion County Prosecutors Office in the coming days. Prosecutors will decide whether to charge the mother or anyone else.
“If the evidence produces that a crime occurred, or that a crime was the likely result of some negligence, then yes, we would support that,” Adams said.
Detectives and prosecutors who work on such cases are keenly aware of the terrible pain family members experience after the loss of a child. Speaking in general terms, officials in the prosecutor’s office said a parent’s grief may not influence any possible charging decision. But it could be considered in the form of some kind of plea agreement, or during sentencing if there is a conviction.
Another recent case involving similar circumstances did result in criminal charges against a parent.
Kyle Spivey is scheduled for trial in February, facing charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, neglect of a dependent and criminal recklessness. Prosecutors filed those charges after an accidental shooting in November last year. Prosecutors say Spivey’s 2-year old son was able to get ahold of Spivey’s gun, and accidentally shot a 4-year old child and Spivey’s 25-year old girlfriend. The child and woman both survived their injuries. Prosecutors say Spivey had left his loaded gun in an area that was accessible to children.
However, Adams said, charges in the Spivey case do not necessarily mean charges will be filed in the New Year’s Eve shooting. Because, he says, every case is different.
“But the one common thread about all of these cases, they’re tragic,” Adams said. “And it should be a sobering reminder to all of us that have guns to ensure that they are properly secured and out of the reach of children.”