Three-Year-Old Dies in Yellowstone

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Photo credit: Grand Canyon NPS

Child shot and dies in Yellowstone

Tragedy struck Yellowstone National Park last Saturday when a three-year-old girl shot herself with her father’s firearm in one of the park’s campgrounds. Park officials came to the scene when the child’s mother reported the incident, but resuscitation efforts failed.

As of Sunday, the Grand Village Campground, where the tragedy occurred, remained cordoned off. Names have not yet been released, and officials are not coming to any conclusions about whether the shooting was accidental or deliberate, reports The Chicago Tribune.

"We don't have all of the information, and we haven't drawn any conclusions," Park Spokesman Al Nash told CBS News.

On Feb. 22, 2010 a federal law legalized the possession of firearms in national parks, overturning a decades-long ban. The National Rifle Association supported the legislation, but groups representing retired National Park service employees and park rangers opposed it.

This is the first shooting death in the park since 1978, Nash said, and the first shooting death of a child since 1938, when the master mechanic’s 13-year-old son accidentally shot himself in the head.

Most fatalities in the park result from heart attacks.

"Given the 3 million visitors we see here every year, there thankfully are very few fatalities reported in the park," Nash said,0,1232693.story


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