A 3-year-old girl accidentally shot her pregnant mother from the backseat of a car Tuesday after the woman’s boyfriend allegedly left the loaded gun there, according to police. The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon in Merrillville, Indiana, when the boyfriend walked into a store and left the loaded gun in the car between the console and the seat.
The 3-year-old girl got hold of the 9mm Glock 19 pistol while she was in the back, and the weapon discharged, hitting her pregnant mother in the chest, Merrillville police chief Joseph Petruch said. The bullet then went through the windshield and the woman got out of the car and collapsed.
Meanwhile, her 21-year-old boyfriend was in the store, Petruch said, and the “next thing he knows somebody comes running in said, ‘Your wife or girlfriend has just been shot.'”
The children were OK and turned over to child protective services, Petruch said. The victim was hospitalized and her condition was not immediately clear.
The boyfriend, Menzo Brazier, was taken to Lake County jail where he was held on child endangerment charges, Petruch said. Police said they expect to meet with the prosecutor’s office Thursday to determine additional charges. The prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.