A day of target practice ended in a tragedy after a 12-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the head. Sydney Darnell was practicing shooting targets with a lever action .22 rifle with her mother Kiara Darnell's boyfriend. Kittitas County Sheriff's deputies say Sydney had just shot the rifle and wanted to check the target.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ellensburg, WA - According to a press release from the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), 12-year-old Sydney Darnell was taken off life support on Monday, May 28, 2018,… <a href="https://t.co/NRHHUEQmYn">https://t.co/NRHHUEQmYn</a></p>— Breaking Skagit (@BreakingSkagit) <a href="https://twitter.com/BreakingSkagit/status/1001664867353464837?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
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She then laid the rifle down on the deck railing so she could go down the hill to the target. The mother's boyfriend, 52-year-old Sean Frick of Cle Elum, noticed she left the rifle loaded with the hammer cocked back so he attempted to put the rifle in safety. Sydney had just walked off the deck and was in the direct line of sight of the rifle when it went off. Frick immediately began CPR on an unresponsive Sydney while Darnell called 911.
Emergency responders airlifted Sydney to Harborview Medical Center around 1:40 p.m. and she was kept alive with life support until 9:30 a.m. the following morning. Kittitas County Sheriff's deputies issued a statement saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Sydney’s family and friends as they face the sorrow and pain of this tragedy."
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The statement continued:
"We also pray that those who become aware of this incident will show compassion before deciding how they can use it to communicate their own personal belief and/or agenda. Tragic injury or loss of life, especially when it involves children, frustrates us and reaches all of our emotions. Just because Social media allows us the opportunity to criticize, condemn and hate, doesn’t mean we have to. It has been my experience that Righteous Indignation does little more than feed the ego of the sender, so before you decide to launch your attack, consider some of the beneficial alternatives; sympathy, mercy, and compassion."
An investigation is underway by the sheriff's office with the help of the County Coroner and the King County Medical Examiner. It is unclear if charges have been filed at this time.
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