Photo: The gun Rachel Avila confused with a lighter, shooting her daughter
A mother injured her daughter when she mistook a small gun for a lighter late Sunday afternoon.
Rachel Avila, 30, told police that she and her daughter were talking with friends in front of their home in Banning, California when she found what she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter.
She reportedly thought the .22-caliber “derringer style” revolver was just a silly-looking lighter when she picked it up.
Avila said she pulled the trigger once to light her cigarette, but nothing happened so she pulled it again. The second time, “the bullet struck the ground, and then ricocheted upward and entered her daughter’s upper right arm,” the police statement said.
Police said the girl was taken to San Gorgonio Memorial, where she was treated and released.
Tuesday, the case was still under investigation, but Banning police described the incident as an accidental shooting.
As for the gun, police Sgt. Alex Diaz said, “We’re tying to find out who the gun belongs to, so we’re looking into that. At this point it is considered an accident.”
Police are urging anyone with information about the gun to contact the Banning Police Department.