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4 Year Old Grovetown Girl Shot in Head When Dad Leaves Gun on Floor

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A 4-year-old Grovetown girl was listed in critical condition late Monday after being shot in the head with a loaded gun left on the floor by her father, authorities said.

Davion Daniels, 24, was charged with child cruelty in the second-degree and possession of a machine gun. He is a felon on probation after his conviction in September for possessing a stolen gun in Kentucky.

The shooting happened around 5:40 p.m. on Memorial Day at a residence on the 5000 block of Starlington Drive, according to Grovetown Police Chief Jamey Kitchens. Several people were inside the residence at Sterlington Apartments at the time.

“Mr. Daniels admitted to placing a loaded 9mm Glock handgun on the floor of the residence while he went downstairs to take a phone call,” Chief Kitchens said in a press release. “A short time later, he heard a gunshot and ran upstairs to find the child suffering from a wound to the head.  Mr. Daniels and a family member then placed the child in the vehicle and began driving to the hospital when they encountered the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office unit.”

The girl, who was not identified by police, underwent surgery and remained late Monday in “extremely critical condition,” Chief Kitchens said.

Daniels was committed to the Columbia County Detention Center and could face additional charges. The “machine gun” charge is due to the discovery of the firearm having been illegally modified to a fully automatic configuration, the chief said.

“We also want to take this opportunity to remind me our Citizens to be responsible with all firearms, especially when small children are present,” Chief Kitchens said in a press release.

“This incident was totally avoidable.”

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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