Boy aged four shoots and kills little girl

A FOUR-year-old Indianapolis boy picked up a gun left lying on a kitchen table and fired a shot that killed the three-year-old daughter of his father’s girlfriend, police say.

After finding the .45-calibre handgun, the boy pointed it at Aunesti Lee Allen’s head and fired, Lieutenant Jeff Duhamell of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said  yesterday.

Police said the girl’s mother, Fiona Lee, 26, was home at the time of the shooting on Thursday. She was arrested on child neglect and drug charges after officers found cocaine and marijuana in the home.

Friends and relatives gathered yesterday afternoon outside the home, a duplex in a working class neighbourhood on the near west side of the city. They brought stuffed animals and flowers for an impromptu memorial that also included candles and a white ceramic angel with an inscription in ink, “She is in the arms of angels”.

“I knew the little girl. I cried,” said John Dodd, a friend of the family, who knew the victim and her siblings. “They were playful. I’d give them some spending change,” Dodd said.

Duhamell said the four-year-old boy is the son of Lee’s live-in boyfriend, and relatives said the two had been in a relationship for about a year. He said it was not clear who the gun belonged to.

The boyfriend has a record for a handgun offence and a cocaine charge, the police spokesman said. Lee also has a record, Duhamell said, but he did not know the details.

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