‘Catastrophic’: Girl, 6, shot by brother
A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl shot by her brother with a loaded 9mm Glock pistol was the victim of a "catastrophic" and "tragic" reminder of the danger of unsecured weapons, police say.
The nine-year-old boy picked up the semiautomatic pistol and shot his little sister after it was allegedly left unattended in a bedroom of their Cairns home last Friday.
On Monday, Police charged their 47-year-old father of Earlville, who had a proper licence and had been cleaning the weapon, with grievous bodily harm and weapons-related offences.
"He had to attend to other matters and the firearm was left unsecured and in reach of the young children," Detective Acting Inspector Kev Goan said.
The girl was shot in the shoulder and is undergoing treatment in a stable condition in Cairns Hospital.
She was lucky not to have been more seriously wounded, Inspector Goan said.
The Glock semiautomatic 9mm pistol is a standard issue side-arm for Queensland Police and other Australian law enforcement agencies.
Acting Inspector Goan said the weapon was unrelated to the father's profession.
"How he got the weapon is not of concern," he said.
"What is of concern is he has a responsibility under the Weapons Act for safe storage and carriage of the weapon at all times.''
He said the man was also charged over the unlawful possession of a telescopic baton and a category R weapon, which includes Tasers.
"They are an otherwise law-abiding family,'' Inspector Goan told ABC.
"The young girl is very fortunate to have avoided the catastrophe that you would expect with this.
"Her prognosis for recovery is reasonable, although we suspect there is going to be ongoing damage caused to her from the firearm.
"It could have been quite catastrophic. Then that sibling would grow up knowing he had taken the life of a younger sibling.
"The impacts of what has actually occurred is devastating as it is.
"If you've got a gun, lock it up."
The father was charged with grievous bodily harm, failure to keep a weapon unloaded, failure to keep a weapon secure and other weapons-related offences.
He is due to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court on June 13.