11-year-old girl killed by father in hunting accident in Harrison County, Texas
Preliminary reports indicate sixth-grader was accidentally shot with a high-powered rifle
HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday morning (Nov. 28) released the name of the 11-year-old girl who died after being accidentally shot the previous day by her father while on a hunting lease.
She is Daisy Grace Lynn George, who was enrolled in sixth grade at Hallsville Junior High School. Authorities say they spoke with members of George’s family and mutually agreed to release her name.
On Monday, the school honored George by wearing her favorite color: purple.
Sheriff’s office dispatchers began receiving calls about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27 about a hunting accident involving an 11-year-old girl, according to a news release.
Authorities learned from subsequent callers that the child’s father had accidentally shot her with a high-powered rifle on a hunting lease near Young Road and Hickey Road, says the statement released by Capt. Tyler Owen. The lease is a couple of miles east-northeast of downtown Hallsville.
Harrison County Sheriff Brandon J. “BJ” Fletcher held a news conference Monday afternoon (Nov. 29) to address the accident. He highlighted the fact that dispatchers had a hard time communicating with the girl’s father, Travis George, because of a poor cellphone signal; he had to call back multiple times. First responders were eventually able to locate the pair after he used a siren to help guide them to the area.
Fletcher said the father told them he thought he had spent two cartridges while in the stand and remembered loading four into the rifle. He says he ejected two near the vehicle. Then, when he went to clear the hammer, the gun went off. The sheriff says the rifle was lying in one of the seats as Daisy was getting into the truck or had already gotten in when she was shot.
The sheriff went on to say that they do believe this was an accident and that, at this time, they do not anticipate arresting Travis. That could change as the investigation unfolds.
Deputies and EMS personnel found the girl suffering from life-threatening injuries. Medics requested a helicopter, but they’d all been grounded due to inclement weather in the region.
EMS personnel took the wounded child to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center. Harrison County sheriff’s deputies, Hallsville police officers, and Texas DPS personnel escorted them to the Longview, Texas, hospital.
A number of units were used to block intersections so the ambulance did not have to stop and could get to the hospital as quickly as possible.
“After lifesaving efforts were administered, the 11-year-old female was pronounced deceased,” the news release states.
A Harrison County investigator and crime scene investigator and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden responded. Those agencies continue to investigate the child’s death. There were no other witnesses that the sheriff’s office is aware of.
“Anytime a young person loses their life, it’s tragic for all involved,” Fletcher stated in the news release. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.”
The Sheriff’s Office and Hallsville ISD Superintendent John Martin are coordinating grief counselors for all faculty members and students affected by this sudden loss. Counseling services also are available for first responders who worked the scene.
During the news conference, Fletcher reiterated the importance of gun safety. He said guns should always be treated as if they are loaded.
The sheriff also said that it’s very important for people to know where they are while hunting so first responders can find them in case of an emergency such as this.
He added that this has been an emotional case to work and that it’s a tragedy to see a young person lose their life this way.
“It’s very unfortunate the way it turned out and I hope we don’t see another one,” Fletcher said Monday.
The sheriff closed the news conference by asking those who attend Hallsville’s Christmas parade Tuesday evening to wear Daisy’s favorite color — purple — to the event.
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