MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An 11-year-old girl is in the hospital in critical condition after an accident with a handgun that involved the girl’s father pulling the trigger.
It happened Thursday around 5:30 p.m. at the family’s home near Braham, Minn., according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
“He’s devastated, of course,” said Jason Montanye, the uncle of Maddy Montanye, who is in fifth grade.
The father, Jesse Montanye, was fixing a handgun for a friend.
“A 22-caliber semi automatic handgun that wasn’t functioning properly, and he was at his dining room table,” said Jason, who said his brother than put a round in the chamber and tried to remove it, when the gun went off.
Maddy, who was sitting on in the nearby living room playing video games, was struck in the head by the bullet. She was conscious when police arrived.
“She knew her name, her best friend, what school she went to,” said Jason, who describes his niece as full of life, athletic and bright eyed.
He says Maddy is in a medically-induced coma at Hennepin County Medical Center after doctors removed two parts of her skull to reduce swelling. They also removed the bullet that went through her brain.
Deputies said no foul play is suspected, but Deputy Chief Steven Blackwell said they are looking into whether there was any negligence.
“My family has grown up around guns and firearms my whole life. We know the function. We know the safety. It was a tragic accident — nobody is really at fault for,” said Jason.
Montanye’s family has set up a CaringBridge website.
“I hope everybody will pray,” said Jason.