CASA GRANDE, AZ - Authorities have released the name of a young girl who died after she was accidentally shot by another child in her home Thursday night.
She has been identified as 11-year-old Joan Plumb.
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tamra Ingersoll said the shooting happened around 8 p.m. in the home near Gila Bend Highway and Thornton Road.
Ingersoll said there were three other children in the home along with the victim’s father. At the home were Joan's 15-year-old brother, a female friend of Joan's and a male neighborhood friend. The children ranged in age from 8 to 15 years old. Joan's oldest sibling and mother were out of the house at the time of the shooting.
The children were in the family room of the home when the shooting occurred, Ingersoll said.
Neighbors were shocked.
"We heard nothing," Carol Stewart, who lives next door, said. "My grandson looked out the window and he saw EMTs and I got really horrified. I said, 'Something bad has happened.'"
Ingersoll said the shooting appears to have been an accidental discharge of the gun while being handled by a juvenile.
"She was a sweet little girl," Stewart said. "We've been here nine years. George, the father, always said (they) couldn't get any little girls so (they) had to adopt one. They adopted her from the time she was (a little baby). It's sad. It's really sad. I feel sorry for them. We'll be visiting and doing what we can."
Joan was air-lifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m.
Ingersoll said after the investigation is done, the case will be submitted to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for review of any possible charges.
Stewart said her neighbors taught their children about guns.
"He took them back there to practice shooting coyotes and stuff," she said. "I never had any problems with my kids. People who live out in the country teach kids to use guns because they go hunting," she said. "Here in Arizona, everybody has a gun. My daughter and myself have guns for protection."
Stewart said her son was murdered and her heart goes out to the family.
"When something like this happens, you cannot do it alone. Just have faith that this will be over soon. The pain ... it'll get easier," she said.
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