16-year-old Catawba County girl dies of accidental gunshot wound to the chest

Cigi Sparks

A 16-year-old Catawba County girl was accidentally shot and killed Sunday afternoon at approximately 6 p.m. at 2818 Rocky Ford Drive in Newton.

The teen girl was accidentally shot by a 21-year-old male acquaintance, who had picked the girl up from her location prior to the incident earlier that afternoon.The teen and the 21-year-old met the day before the incident, according to Catawba County Sheriff Office's Captain Joel Fish.

After picking up the teen girl along with a male friend of the girl, the 21-year-old decided to stop at a residence on Rocky Ford Road to look at a gun that he knew was for sale.

As the three were looking at the gun, the girl was taking pictures. As the photos were being taken, the 21-year-old was handling the gun – causing the .22 rifle to be accidentally discharged, shooting the teen girl once in the chest, according to Fish.

A medical helicopter was called for the teen, however, the need for the helicopter was called off after the teen died while she was either in the EMS in route to Catawba Valley Medical Center or shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to Fish.

Officials believe that the teen girl is from Maiden and the 21-year-old is from Newton, however, exact addresses have not yet been confirmed, according to Fish.

The investigation into the shooting is on-going at this time. Names of those involved will be released tomorrow once family members have been notified and more information on the incident can be concluded.