Las Vegas police say young girl shot father

A man apparently was shot by his daughter Thursday morning in the southwest valley.

Las Vegas police said a 5½-year-old girl shot her father about 8 a.m. at a home at 182 Castle Course, near Fort Apache and Blue Diamond roads in the Rhodes Ranch development.

The girl was sleeping with her parents when she took a handgun from a nightstand and apparently shot her father in the arm, police said.

The 38-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital and was being treated for nonlife-threatening injuries, police said. At first, officials thought the bullet may have fragmented and hit him in the chest, but it stayed in his arm.

Officer Marcus Martin said that there was a gun safe in the home and that other firearms had been properly secured, but this handgun was out in the open.

“This was just a tragic accident that could have been a lot worse,” said Martin, a spokesman.

Detectives from the department’s child abuse and neglect section were on scene. They were investigating to determine whether charges will be filed in the incident.

The Department of Family Services also opened an investigation.

Rex Harris, 35, said he awoke at about 8:30 a.m. to the sounds of sirens.

The gated community is usually very quiet, he said.

“That’s why I live all the way out here,” he said. “I didn’t want to be close to the Strip and all the stuff going on down there.”

Harris said the family had been living in the community for about a year. They were renters and typically kept to themselves, he said.

The shooting disturbed Harris because he didn’t understand how a small girl would have the strength to aim a gun and pull the trigger. Harris said he has five children and his wife is pregnant. He couldn’t imagine leaving a weapon around with a child at home.

“It just seems a little weird to me,” he said. “I hope the parents face prosecution. … They jeopardized their family, the neighborhood and every citizen.”

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.


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