A 2-year-old Tennessee girl was left fighting for her life after being shot in the head by a pellet gun in her back yard.
Ariel Salaices was airlifted to hospital after the incident.
Doctors said she suffered a stroke after the bullet got lodged in her head.
The toddler was outside playing with one of her brothers in her backyard in northeastern Tennessee when she was hit by pellet gun.
The shot came from a wooded area near the family home, according to reports.
Ariel was hit as she was going down the slide; her brother ran to fetch their father.
Her father grabbed his baby girl before rushing her to the nearest emergency room.
Ariel was then airlifted to a specialist hospital in Knoxville where she was treated for her injuries.
“Ariel is a very spunky little girl. She’s sassy and she’s full of life. She’s definitely not one who wants to sit still,” Her aunt, Stephanie Brown, told ABC News.
Ariel suffered a stroke because of her injuries and a CT scan showed that the bullet was lodged in her brain.
Thankfully this strong little girl’s condition stabilized but neurologists still have to monitor the pressure inside her skull.
Johnson County Sheriff Edward Tester issued a warning about firearm safety saying:
“If you’re using a firearm and doing target practice or hunting, make sure you’re looking beyond where you’re shooting. Because that bullet may not stop where you want it to.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for the family’s travel expenses; Ariel’s parents are now out of work, according to the page.
Sheriff Tester appealed for the person responsible to come forward adding, “I think with all this information out there, I think they know who they are.”
Investigators first said first that the girl was shot by a stray bullet, but later determined she was struck by a pellet gun.
In May, The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said no charges will be placed as the shooting was determined a “tragic accident.”
A week ago, Christina Salaices, Ariel’s mother, made a statement on Facebook and said that Ariel will be moved to a Georgia hospital for treatment.
We wish Ariel a speedy recovery!
I’m ending my prayers for all the family and pray she gets well soon!