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3-year-old who shot herself accidentally has died

The 3½-year-old girl accidentally shot herself on Christmas Day died on Tuesday night at Mission HCA Hospital, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office announced.

Aylee Gordon, the daughter of Anya Kizyaeva Gordon and retired sheriff's Capt. Tim Gordon, had undergone neurosurgery and had remained in grave condition since the shooting after Christmas afternoon when she picked up a loaded 9-mm handgun in the backseat of her father's pickup truck.

Sheriff Lowell Griffin, who served as a deputy alongside Gordon before Griffin left the department in 2014, turned the case over to the SBI because of their connection.

"Any charges in this case will be at the discretion of the NCSBI and the District Attorney’s office once the investigation has been completed and submitted to the District Attorney for review," sheriff's spokesman Johnny Duncan said.


Gordon, as his wife was holding the injured child in the backseat, was driving his Dodge Dakota pickup down Gilliam Mountain Road to the Edneyville Fire & Rescue station on U.S. 64 at 2:46 p.m. Saturday when he called 911.
“She picked up a pistol and shot herself in the head by accident,” he told the dispatcher. “We didn’t know” the handgun was there. “We had a visitor visiting for Christmas and he went in the car and I didn’t know it and she picked it up and it went off.”
Where, the dispatcher asked, did this happen?
“In the truck right there on the side of the road because we stopped to let her ride her new bicycle,” he said. “She had a bike wreck … and she climbed in the truck and there was a gun there and there it went.”

Griffin said: “It’s a tragic, tragic accident and incident I think once it’s all released, it was just several different circumstances that came together on this holiday to lead to this tragedy."