MUNCIE, Ind. — Court documents reveal that a Muncie man reportedly pointed a loaded handgun at a 4-year-old girl in order to show her how not to hold the weapon when he inadvertently shot the child.
The Muncie Police Department said the girl had to be transported to Riley Hospital due to her injury but ended up being treated and released.
Jeffrey Burnum, 35, was arrested on Saturday morning and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury, a Level 3 felony, and criminal recklessness, a Level 5 felony.
According to court documents, Burnum admitted to police that before the shooting he allowed both the 4-year-old girl and another child under the age of 6 to “manipulate” the firearm. Burnum told officers he thought the gun was unloaded.
Burnum reportedly told investigators he was holding the gun sideways, pointing it at the 4-year-old girl, when the gun “went off” and struck her in her lower extremities. Burnum said he’d been explaining how holding a gun sideways was the incorrect way to hold a firearm.
Burnum maintained he didn’t mean to injure the girl and that he thought the handgun wasn’t loaded.
Police said the shooting occurred Saturday morning in the 400 block of N. State Street in Muncie.