Illegal Immigrant Faces Child Abuse Charge

Unsecured guns found within child's reach

Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2011, 6:41 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 May 2011, 6:41 PM MDT

FOX 10 News

PHOENIX - Danielle Ayers is shaken after her 2-year-old neighbor was shot in the face with a gun by the girl's 9-year-old uncle.

"That's just horrifying to have guns in the house with the babies and gun safety is number one" she said.

The girl's grandfather, 38-year-old Gerardo Garcia-Segura, was booked on suspicion of child abuse and prohibited possession of a weapon. It turns out that Segura is in the country illegally and isn't allowed to have a gun.

This all happened when the girl was with her 6 and 9-year-old uncles inside her grandparent's apartment near 40th Street and the Loop 202.

Court paperwork shows the two brothers found the .22 caliber handgun in the parent's room near a TV stand next to a stuffed animal. A .22 caliber rifle was also found in the home. Both were on the floor within a child's reach.

The boy didn't realize the gun was loaded when he started to play with it.

The girl's mother heard a "pop" from the bedroom, then the boy ran out crying and saying "it's my fault."

The girl was shot in her right cheek area near her nose. The bullet lodged in the right side of her neck. The good news is she's expected to survive.

Ayers isn't surprised. She says she saw the girl's grandfather playing with guns over the weekend.

"They took out the clip and I was like, 'do you think this is fun' and there was this lady and she was drunk and she said 'i have the safety on' and blah blah blah..and I was like it's not fun."

Making things worse, court paperwork shows the girl's mother saw the gun on the carpet before this happened, but she thought it was a toy.

Segura was detained back in January for being in the country illegally. He was out on bond and waiting for his deportation hearing in August. Now he's being held on a $50,000 bond.