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12-Year-Old Ohio Girl Accidentally Shot And Killed By Neighbor Cleaning Gun

Newsweek logo Newsweek 12/4/2020 Lydia Smith
a woman standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Protestors take part in a rally of Moms against gun violence and calling for Federal Background Checks in 2019 in New York City © JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images Protestors take part in a rally of Moms against gun violence and calling for Federal Background Checks in 2019 in New York City

A 12-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio, died of a gunshot wound after a neighbor accidentally discharged his gun while cleaning it in his apartment. Columbus Police were called to an apartment in Fairfield County after 9 p.m. on December 2 to a report of a shooting.

The victim was 12-year-old Lidia Ghide, who lived in one of two apartments on the upper floor of the building. According to police, 42-year-old Eric Carpenter, who lived in the apartment opposite, had been cleaning a rifle when it discharged.

The bullet went through Carpenter's front door and into Ghide's apartment, striking the girl in the neck, according to police.

The Columbus Division of Police said in a statement: "Upon arrival, officers found 12-year-old Lidia Ghide suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. She was transported to Mount Carmel East Hospital, in critical condition, where she was pronounced deceased at 9:27p.m.

"The investigation revealed that 42-year-old Eric Carpenter was handling a rifle inside his apartment when the weapon discharged. The discharged round exited Carpenter's apartment and struck Lidia, who was inside an adjacent apartment, fatally wounding her.

"Anyone with info regarding this case is asked to contact CPD's Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-TIPS (8477)."

The division added: "This is the city's 151st homicide in 2020."

Carpenter was arrested and charged by Columbus police with reckless homicide. Police said there is no evidence to suggest that the shooting was intentional.

Another neighbor has started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Lidia Ghide's family to pay for funeral expenses.

"Please donate to help the family of Lidia Ghide. I am their neighbor," the fundraiser reads.

"Last night I held Hermela Gebremeskel after her daughter Lidia had been shot by another one of our neighbors. This family is in desperate need of professional cleaning services and will need to cover the cost of a COVID funeral."

Hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else every year, according to campaign group Everytown for Gun Safety. Every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, the organization reports.

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There have been at least 246 unintentional shootings by children in 2020, resulting in 103 deaths and 150 injuries, according to the group's tracker #NotAnAccident index.

Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in the United States, according to the group. Every year, 16,000 children and teens are shot and killed or wounded and approximately three million are exposed to gun violence.

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