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15-year-old Ohio girl victim of random gunshot

Ohio residents will be saddened to hear of a fatal accident involving a teenage girl who was killed by a random rifle shot into the air. Reportedly, the 15-year-old Amish girl was travelling between Columbus and Akron on her way home from a Christmas party when the shooting occurred. To date, the incident has been ruled an accident.

According to local police, an individual was cleaning his rifle when it went off into the air. Apparently, the bullet traveled 1.5 miles before hitting the girl in the head as she rode alone in a horse-drawn buggy. Investigators are analyzing evidence, including the bullet and the rifle, to test for a ballistic match. The girl had reportedly been attending a party with co-workers, most of whom were about her own age.

Authorities said that the shooter's family came forward once they learned of the girl's death. In addition, a neighbor who heard the shot also contacted police. At the time of a local news report, no criminal charges had been filed. The girl is survived by her father and 10 brothers and sisters, along with numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

Whether or not the victim's family intends to pursue a wrongful death case has yet to be determined. The incident, even though it has so far been considered an accident, may still be the subject of a civil lawsuit. The death of this young person reminds us all that extreme care must be used when handling any type of firearm, whether in Columbus or anywhere else.

Source: msnbc.com, "Ohio sheriff: Accident led to Amish girl's death," Dec. 20, 2011

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