Asheville, N.C. — Aylee Gordon, a three-year-old girl who accidentally suffered a gunshot wound on Christmas Day, died Tuesday evening, according to a release from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.
A 911 call was placed around 2:30 p.m. Saturday reporting that a child had accessed a firearm and accidentally shot herself, according to the sheriff’s office in Henderson County, which is south of Asheville, North Carolina.
The child was airlifted to Mission Hospital and underwent medical treatment, spokesperson Johnny Duncan told CNN on Sunday. She passed away Tuesday evening, according to the release.
Once the investigation is completed and submitted to District Attorney Andrew Murray, any charges will be at the discretion of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the DA’s office, the release stated.
Aylee’s father, retired Henderson County Sheriff’s Cpt. Tim Gorden, called 911 moments after the accident on Saturday.
The sheriff’s department distorted the voices on the call to protect identities.
In the call, Gordon is heard saying, “She picked up a pistol and shot herself in the head by accident. We didn’t know. She’s got a head wound.”
In 2020 in the US, more than 5,100 children younger than 18 were killed or injured in gun incidents, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The dispatcher said, “She shot herself in the head?” Gordon replied, “Yes.”
Gordon said his wife was doing all she could to comfort Aylee, who was suffering from a severe head wound. The gun did not belong to his family, he said.
“We had a visitor visiting for Christmas, and they left a gun in the car and I didn’t know it,” Gordon said. “She picked it up and it went off.”
Gordon added he initially couldn’t get a call in to 911 due to poor service in the rural countryside.
In the 911 call, the dispatcher is heard asking, “Did this happen in a car?”
Gordon replies, “It happened in the truck, right there on the side of the road. We stopped to let them ride, her new bicycle, and she had a bike wreck and peed her pants. And so my wife was going to take her back to the house to change clothes, and she climbed in the truck and there was a gun there that somebody had left and there it went.”
In the call, Gordon said the shooting happened in his own truck, a Dodge Dakota. He said it was a 9 millimeter gun.