A toddler girl was declared dead at the Mercy Hospital in California Friday only hours after being accidentally shot by a younger relative.
The shooting took place in a Merced home on East 26th Street at about 2:30 p.m. The unidentified boy opened fire at the 5-year-old girl after he found an unsecured handgun while playing.
The girl’s 44-year-old dad, Rodney Matthews, drove her to the hospital and left.
He was later arrested after a high-speed chase with cops.
“The subject who dropped off the victim was seen leaving the hospital. Officers attempted to stop the subject, but the driver refused to stop and engaged in a high-speed pursuit,” police wrote on Facebook.
“The driver finally stopped and was taken into custody and was identified as Rodney Matthews.”
In a statement, Sgt. Sean Greene said: “It’s heartbreaking. You don’t want to hear of anyone being shot but a child who’s got their whole life to look forward to, it’s heartbreaking.”
Matthews has been hit with several charges including child endangerment which resulted in the death of a child.