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Mom accidentally shoots daughter with gun mistaken to be cigarette lighter

July 28, 2011 |  9:18 am

Banning A Banning woman accidentally shot her 12-year-old daughter after pulling the trigger of a miniature revolver she had mistaken for a novelty cigarette lighter, authorities said Thursday.

Rachel Avila, 30, and her daughter were talking in front of their mobile home in the 100 block of North Phillips Street on Sunday when Avila spotted what she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter lying on the ground, said officials with the Banning Police Department.

It was shaped like a miniature firearm, police said.

Avila picked up the object and tried to light it by pulling the trigger, police said.

The first time, nothing happened, but her second attempt released a 22-caliber bullet.

“The bullet struck the ground, and then ricocheted upward and entered her daughter’s upper right arm,” Banning police said in a statement.

The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released.

Authorities identified the weapon as a “North American Arms, 22 caliber, derringer style revolver.”

Banning police officials advised residents to be wary of objects that resemble a firearm.

“Do not handle the object, and call local law enforcement for assistance,” authorities said.


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-- Ann M. Simmons

Image: Map shows location of where a mother accidentally shot her daugher with a miniature revolver in Banning. Source: Google Maps