6-year-old North Port girl accidentally shoots grandmother after finding gun in car, police say

Police are investigating after they say a 6-year-old accidentally shot her grandmother while she was driving on Thursday afternoon. 

According to the North Port Police Department, officers were called to the 4200 block of Tollefson Avenue around 3 p.m. after a woman called to say that her granddaughter shot her. 

Police say the 57-year-old woman told them that the child got ahold of a gun that was in the backseat of the vehicle and accidentally fired a single shot through the driver seat, striking her in the lower back.

"A matter of inches, pointing the gun a different direction, we could have had more serious injuries to the grandmother, the child could have been injured," said Josh Taylor with North Port police. 

According to officers, the gun was originally located in a holster, tucked in the back pocket of the driver seat, beneath a seat cover.

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Police said the grandmother had recently been to a gun range and left the gun in the car. 

"You name it. Anything could have happened there. So obviously it’s a very dangerous situation," said Taylor.

The grandmother drove home and got help. After calling 911, the woman was airlifted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota with non-threatening injuries. 

Detectives say the shooting appears to be accidental. 

"This is an unfortunate example of the importance of gun safety. Please take appropriate measures to make sure children cannot access firearms. This could have been much worse, not only for the grandmother but for the child. Thankfully, it appears that everyone is going to be okay," says North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.