Gary toddler declared dead after accidental shooting

2012-01-17T11:15:00Z 2012-01-17T11:40:18Z Gary toddler declared dead after accidental shootingBy Lindsay Machak lindsay.machak@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

GARY | A toddler who was shot in the head last weekend was declared dead Monday morning, police said.

Jariah Henderson succumbed to her injury and was pronounced dead at 11:07 a.m. at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, Gary police spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King said.

However, WGN-TV in Chicago reported the toddler was brain dead but was being kept on life support until her organs could be donated. Officials could not be reached to confirm that report late Monday.

The 2-year-old had been shot in the head while playing with other children Saturday, police said.

"We don't know if she did it or if the other child did it," King said.

The children were within reach of a loaded .22-caliber handgun in a bedroom at a home in the 2500 block of West Ninth Avenue.

Police still are handling the child's shooting as a death investigation, King said.

Officials were told the shooting was "accidental," and it was not clear who owned the handgun the day of the shooting, police said.

The toddler's family initially took her to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus. She was airlifted to the Chicago hospital, where she later died.

The Cook County medical examiner's office will handle the autopsy.

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