Used Cars Merrillville, Merrillville police say small child got a hold of weapon in vehicle, accidentally shot pregnant mother in Plato’s Closet parking lot; father taken in custody

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Used Cars Merrillville – Two small children, boys and girls, were in a vehicle outside Plato’s Closet when one of them held a gun Tuesday and accidentally shot and injured their pregnant mother. Police believe the girl accidentally shot the mother sitting in the front seat with the father’s gun he left in the car, according to NBC 5 Chicago. The father was arrested on charges of endangering children, NBC reported.

The Times did not name the father in custody because the charges had not been formally filed against him. Police said they found a gun at the scene. Merrillville police were called to Plato’s Closet parking lot, 359 E. 81st Ave., at around 3:52 a.m., said Merrillville Police Chief Joe Petruch.

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The shooting was still under investigation, but it seemed unintentional, Petruch said.

Children aged 3 and 1. The little girl took her father’s gun and shot his mother in front of his younger brother in a parked car, according to NBC, quoting police.

The mother was initially transported with an unknown injury to the Southlake Campus Methodist Hospital in Merrillville, said Petruch.

Several Merrillville squad cars and the Lake County police car can be seen in the parking lot Tuesday afternoon. Yellow TKP footage surrounds the white Altima vehicle.

Hadassah Zirkle, supervisor at Plato’s Closet, told The Times that someone approached him and told him they saw someone bleeding outside.

“I walked outside and there was only blood falling everywhere,” Zirkle said.

He said he took the children into the shop after the shooting so they did not have to see their mother injured. He said someone in the Plato Closet called 911.

Merrilville police said the couple, from Michigan City, came here to visit Planned Parenthood – because the mother was pregnant for several weeks.

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