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4-year-old dies after shooting herself in mother’s car on I-85, police say

WSB Atlanta 8/8/2022 WSBTV.com News Staff
Police said her mother Kaelin Lewis was driving northbound on I-85 when Kendal found a firearm in the backseat. © WSBTV.com News Staff Police said her mother Kaelin Lewis was driving northbound on I-85 when Kendal found a firearm in the backseat.

A 4-year-old girl died Sunday after she shot herself on Interstate 85 in DeKalb County.

Police responded to a shooting call on the northbound lanes at North Druid Hills Road around 7:30 p.m.

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When officers arrived, they found a 4-year-old Kendal Lewis dead in the backseat of a car with a gunshot wound.

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Police said her mother Kaelin Lewis was driving northbound on I-85 when Kendal found a firearm in the backseat. The 4-year-old shot herself and died from her injuries, according to investigators.

Officers arrested Lewis on cruelty to children in the second degree charge, Channel 2 confirmed for Channel 2 Action News This Morning. She was transported to the DeKalb County Jail.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones was at the family’s home Monday, where family members said they were not ready to speak publicly about the child’s death. The did call it a horrible mistake.

People in the area where the shooting took place called it irresponsible.

“A child dies because of a parent’s irresponsibility? That’s not cool, man,” Vernez King said. “That’s not a good look.”

Grandmother Patsy Turner said keeping guns locked up is a parent’s responsibility.

“Secure the gun,” Turner said. “You’re responsible. Secure the gun.”

Daphne Jordan, a gun safety instructor who teaches classes on keeping guns safely stored and away from children, said no gun should be left lying around unsecured.

“If your gun is not on your person, it is not safe,” Jordan said.

Police said the investigation remains open. Lewis is supposed to make her first court appearance on Tuesday.

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