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3-year-old girl accidentally shot by 7-year-old brother, mother arrested

Westminster Police said the two siblings were playing when the older brother found an unsecured and loaded shotgun.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A 3-year-old Westminster girl has died after police said a preliminary investigation indicated she was accidentally shot by her 7-year-old brother. Their mother has since been taken into custody. 

That’s according to a news release from the Westminster Police Department, which said the incident happened at around 10:20 a.m. on April 21. 

According to the release, “the two siblings were playing when the older sibling … found an unsecured and loaded shotgun.” Police said investigators believe the brother accidentally fired a shot. 

During a forensic interview, the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office said the young boy didn't know the gun was loaded. 

The 3-year-old girl was taken to the hospital, but she did not survive. 

Their mother, identified as Michaela Harman, 24, and a third younger sibling were home when the incident happened, according to the release. 

Harman was arrested for child abuse resulting in death – criminal negligence. She has since been formally charged, and was given a $20,000 personal recognizance bond. 

She is scheduled to appear in court again for a preliminary hearing on May 20. 

Her two surviving children have been placed temporarily in the care of Jefferson County Human Services, according to the release. 

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