Family grateful girl survived accidental shooting; grandmother makes first court appearance

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – FOX 4 learned new details about an accidental shooting that left a 5-year-old girl injured, and her grandmother charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The girl suffered a gunshot wound to her thigh, and is now recovering at home according to her uncle.

“I wish y`all could see her. She`s a sweetheart,” said Michael Barnett.

Two days after his niece was accidentally shot inside their south Kansas City home, Barnett is still breathing a big sigh of relief.

“Very thankful. Thankful for her life,” said Barnett.

He said that late Monday night was a routine one for him, his sister – 43-year-old Taprill Barnett, the child`s grandmother -- and two other young relatives.

“All of us were watching TV just in our bedrooms and the kids running back and forth,” Barnett recalled.

Moments later, he said they heard a loud pop.

“I panicked. It sounded like muffled, or a firecracker,” Barnett said.

Police say it wasn`t a firecracker, but a single gunshot that went off and hit the 5-year-old girl.

“She has a flesh wound and it didn`t hit the bone. God`s good,” said Barnett.

According to a police report, Taprill Barnett told detectives she was cleaning her gun and slid it under a couch when the young victim and her brother entered the living room. Barnett said when she left the room, she heard a pop, ran back to the living room and then saw her granddaughter had been shot.

“She was playing on the couch like she normally does and she looked behind or under a pillow,” Barnett said, saying the girl then found the gun.

He says his sister is a good woman and would never put her family in harm`s way. He says his sister recently bought the gun for her 20-year-old son.

“It was for when he turned 21. I mean he wanted it to be licensed and learn how to shoot. I don`t think my sister even knew the gun was here,” Barnett said.

Barnett says he doesn`t know which one of his relatives brought the gun into their home. He says his sister kept it locked in her car.

Taprill Barnett was arraigned on Wednesday and is in jail, held on a $10,000 bond. She’s due in court for a hearing on February 2.

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