New Orleans girl, 5, left home alone fatally shoots self; mom charged

June 23, 2013 at 11:08 PM

NEW ORLEANS, June 23 (UPI) -- A 5-year-old New Orleans girl left home alone fatally shot herself in the head Sunday and police said they arrested her mother for murder.

Police said they booked Laderika Smith for second-degree murder after she allegedly admitted locking her daughter in a bedroom alone while she went to a store, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

Police said when Smith, who police records showed turned 28 Sunday, returned home, she found her daughter, whose name wasn't released, lying on the bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to the head, the newspaper said. City police representative Hilal Williams said the child was taken off life support and died Sunday afternoon.

Williams said an initial investigation indicated the girl found a .38-caliber revolver and accidentally shot herself.

Smith acknowledged having a gun in the home, and police seized the weapon.

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