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Four-year-old in stable condition after suffering gunshot wound, suspect arrested

30-year-old Shaletres Townsend was arrested after placing a firearm in an area where children were playing, resulting in a 4-year-old accidentally being shot 10/16/16 (LVMPD)

Metro detectives tell News 3 a four-year-old girl was at home with her parents, another adult, and three siblings when a gun went off and at least one bullet hit her.

In a release by LVMPD, detectives determined that the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Shaletres Townsend, had placed her firearm on a chair in a bedroom where children were playing. The firearm was accidentally discharged, hitting the child.

Police say they are still investigating but she may have accidentally shot herself according to the initial reports. Officers are looking to see if there are other possibilities in what they believe is an accidental shooting.

The shooting was first reported around 2:30 p.m. in the 4200 block of Studio Street, near Craig and Lamb.

According to officers, the father called 911 after the shooting. The child was taken to UMC in critical condition.

Police say at least one bullet entered near the neck or chin. Her condition has improved since reaching the trauma center at UMC where authorities say the child is in stable condition.

Both Child Protective Services and LVMPD Abuse/Neglect detectives were on scene.

One neighbor said she has seen an increase in crime in the last few years, but still, legal gun owners should still keep their weapons locked for safety.

"You keep that away from your kids. They supposed to be behind locks," the neighbor said.

Metro has yet to confirm if the gun was legally owned by a person in the home, but said the parents are cooperating with police.

In a release, LVMPD wants to remind parents to responsibly store their firearms and to secure them in a locked container or to use a gun lock device to prevent them from being used unintentionally.

LVMPD Lt. Grant Rogers says all gun owners should take precautions with their weapons.

"If you have a safe or a gun locker or just some ways of storing a weapon is really key for any gun owners out there," Lt. Rogers said.

As a result of the investigation, Townsend was arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one count of child neglect with substantial bodily harm.

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