A 14-year-old girl is in stable condition after being shot in the face Monday morning inside a home in Rhawnhurst, police said.
Authorities say she was shot by a 12-year-old boy, who is now facing several charges relating to the incident.
“We believe that he thought the gun was unloaded, but obviously it was not,” said Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum of Northeast Detectives.
Officers responded to the home on the 2000 block of Glendale Avenue at 10:22 a.m. and found the girl. She told police she was having trouble breathing, and 2nd District officers took her to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, where her condition was stabilized, investigators said.
The girl, who lives in Lansdale, Montgomery County, was sleeping over at the boy’s house in Rhawnhurst for the Presidents Day holiday, police said. Investigators said her family knew the boy’s family from a church group.
Rosenbaum said the victim, another 14-year-old girl from Lansdale, a 7-year-old girl who lives at the home and the boy were in the basement at the time of the shooting. The boy showed the girls multiple guns and pointed the weapons at them, authorities said.
“They were not playing a game,” Rosenbaum said. “They told him to put it away, and he went and got another one.”
Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said the boy has been charged with aggravated assault, weapons charges and related offenses. He will be processed through the juvenile system, and his name was not released.
Authorities searched the Glendale Avenue home after the shooting and recovered two handguns, two shotguns, hundreds of bullets and a pair of bulletproof vests, Rosenbaum said.
He said detectives are also investigating the boy’s family members who owned the weapons.
“These guns were not secure in the house,” Rosenbaum said at a news conference Monday. “They were in the basement where the four juveniles were today.”
Rosenbaum said the boy’s grandfather, grandmother, mother, uncle, the 7-year-old girl and maybe one or two other family members live at the Glendale Avenue property.
Family members told police they purchased the weapons after one of the people who lives at the house was the victim of an armed carjacking on the block two years ago, Rosenbaum said.
“To leave guns out like this is pretty bad, and it could have been more of a tragedy today,” Rosenbaum said. “In a matter of inches, she could have lost her life.” ••