12-year-old kills 6-year-old sister with parents’ loaded pistol, police say 

A 6-year-old Missouri girl was shot and killed by her 12-year-old brother, who found a loaded gun in his parents’ bedroom, according to news reports.

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The shooting happened just before 11 p.m. Friday in the family’s home in Florissant, in a northern St. Louis suburb.

Police said the shooting was an accident and occurred while the parents were at a Christmas party and an older, 16-year-old sister was watching the two younger children, KTVI-TV reported.

First-grader Maliyah Palmer died after she was shot in the head by her brother, who found a 9 mm handgun in a drawer in his parents’ room, then “accidentally” fired it at his sister, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, citing police.

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A child "accidentally discharged a round," Florissant police Officer Steve Michael said in a statement, according to the Post-Dispatch

After first saying there would be no charges filed in the case, police Chief Timothy Lowery said Monday that investigators will turn any evidence in the case over to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file any charges.

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The Post-Dispatch reported that parents in Missouri whose children have been shot by unsecured, loaded weapons in the past have been charged. Charges have included endangering the welfare of a child, which is a felony in Missouri and punishable by jail time.

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