*Correction: Norfolk police previously said the victim was a 7-year-old girl. They have since corrected that it was an 8-year-old girl.*
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The uncle of an 8-year-old girl who accidentally shot herself is facing felony child neglect charges, Norfolk Police confirmed to 10 On Your Side.
The shooting happened Friday night on Chesapeake Boulevard near Wayne Circle, in the Norview Heights neighborhood. The girl was taken to CHKD with non life-threatening injuries.
The suspect, Alvonte Lawton, is currently in custody. His arraignment is scheduled for May 15.
Police said a preliminary investigation revealed the girl accidentally shot herself. The gun has been recovered. Investigators believe Lawton left a loaded firearm unattended which resulted in the child picking up the gun and shooting herself.
“I can’t talk to any of the facts of the incident from Friday night. What I can say is that in my office, I take incidents of gunfire seriously,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi.
Cases of kids shooting guns are not one size fits all, Fatehi said.
“It is very fact-dependent because the age of the child, the circumstances of the case – if it involves something like this, an accidental shooting of a gun – all of those things will drive it,” he said.
“A 17-year-old who pries a gun lock off a gun is very different from a gun left in the toddler’s crib while the toddler is in it,” he said.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.