Local authorities say a 9-year-old boy and a 5-year-old whose gender has not been identified were playing in a house, when the 9-year-old discovered an unsecured handgun. The weapon was picked up by the 5-year-old after the older child took it outside. While outside, the 5-year-old shot a 3-year-old girl who lived at the residence once in the chest.
The girl was transported to a local hospital before being air-lifted to Colorado Springs, where she underwent surgery and was stabilized. Authorities say the bullet entered and exited the girl's body but did not break any bones.
The victim's mother and her boyfriend were both home at the time of the incident. The mother's boyfriend, 22-year-old Adrian Chavez, owned the handgun and fled the scene. Chavez was apprehended around 3:15 p.m. local time and charged with child abuse resulting in serious injury.