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Teen accused of shooting 10-year-old nephew while posing for pictures with gun

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the child’s 19-year-old aunt, Caitlyn Smith, was in the apartment with the child. He said Smith was handling a pistol when she accidentally shot the child.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the child’s 19-year-old aunt, Caitlyn Smith, was in the apartment with the child. He said Smith was handling a pistol when she accidentally shot the child. (Harris County Sheriff's Office)

HOUSTON – A teen’s bail has been set at $20,000 on Thursday after investigators said she accidentally shot her 10-year-old nephew while posing for pictures with a gun.

The shooting was reported around 4:17 p.m. Tuesday at the Chisholm Trail Apartments near Rankin Road.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the child was listed in serious condition.

Gonzalez said the child’s 19-year-old aunt, Caitlyn Smith, was in the apartment with the child. He said Smith was handling a pistol when she accidentally shot the child.

“The female indicated that she retrieved that weapon to take a picture, and in the course of taking pictures, the gun went off and struck the child," Gonzalez said.

Deputies said the 10-year-old was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“I pray that he’s going to be OK as they brought him outside, and I (saw) him,” said Latavia Stewart, a neighbor. “It’s kind of unfortunate that things like that happen so close to you especially to your son’s friend.”

Residents were in disbelief

“Look at the kids. For the grown-ups. This is serious,” said Frank Mendoza, another neighbor.

Investigators said they are still determining who should be held accountable, but their focus is to make sure the child is OK.

“The adult female is cooperating with us right now. Obviously we will have to determine the level of responsibility later on in terms of the parents and also the adult that was in the home," Gonzalez said.

Smith appears in court

Smith was in a courtroom Thursday for a preliminary hearing on the charge of injury to a child.

The state requested a bail of $50,000 and the defense requested a bail of $5,000. Ultimately, the judge set Smith’s bail at $20,000.

The judge also ordered Smith to stay out of trouble and avoid contact with the child.


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