Woman claiming to teach gun safety shoots, kills 4-year-old


ROCKWOOD, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee woman has been charged with fatally shooting a 4-year-old girl, authorities said.

Breanna Gayle Runions, 25, was arrested Sunday in Rockwood and charged with felony murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of Evangeline Gunter, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Runions told investigators she was trying to demonstrate gun safety when she pulled the trigger, news outlets reported, citing an arrest warrant.

Runions’ girlfriend and another child in the home said the children were being punished that day for not following rules, according to warrant. Runions brought out the gun, removed the magazine, called the 4-year-old over to her and then shot her in the chest, the warrant said. The girlfriend and other child were in the same room but didn’t witness the shooting, officials said.

Although they sought medical help immediately, the girl was pronounced dead at Roane Medical Center, officials said.

The girl’s mother, Josie Gunter, told WBIR-TV that her daughter lived at the house because of a court decision.

District Attorney General Russell Johnson told news outlets that he directed police to contact the Department of Children’s Services about the other child in the home. WBIR-TV said the other child was the girl’s sibling.

Runions waived her right to a bond hearing on Tuesday and a status hearing was set for Sept. 19, Johnson said.

Johnson said Runions’ case was appointed to the public defender’s office, which didn’t immediately respond to a Wednesday message seeking comment.


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