TERRELL, TX — Police in Terrell say a preliminary investigation indicates a 1-year-old child was shot Tuesday while left alone with a sibling inside a vehicle.
Their investigation began when officers heard pounding and screams for help at about 2:15 p.m. outside the Terrell Police Department, said Captain A.D. Sansom , a spokesperson with the department, in a statement.
Sansom said officers exited the building to find a truck parked the wrong way at the entrance of the parking lot. A toddler was found inside the truck, which was left running with the driver side door open.
Officers continued to search the area and found 25-year-old Elroy Caleb Middleton at the adjacent fire department with an injured child.
"The infant was the victim of an apparent single gunshot wound to the left upper neck," Sansom said. "The male parent was hysterical and the infant was crying but alert and responsive."
The 1-year-old girl was transported by air ambulance to a Dallas hospital. Authorities haven't released her condition.
"The police are investigating the cause of the incident, but preliminary reports indicate the children were left in the running vehicle at Southwestern Christian College campus while the father ... conducted some business just feet away from the vehicle," Sansom said. "A shot was heard and it was clear the infant was injured."
Police say a 9mm handgun was found inside the vehicle, which had an exit hole in the right rear passenger door.
Sansom said the father initially told police he was "with security" at Southwestern Christian College, but it was later determined Middleton isn't a state licensed security officer. Police say Middleton is also not licensed to carry.
"It is not a violation of state law to posses a firearm in a vehicle in Texas," Sansom said. "However, it is a violation to make a weapon accessible to a minor."
An investigation into the shooting is underway.
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