A 9-year-old Oakdale girl is expected to survive after her 5-year-old brother picked up a .22-caliber rifle and accidentally shot her in the chest, police said Friday night.
The girl, whose name was not released, was shot in the living room of her family's home in the 1800 block of Helena Road, said Oakdale police officer Michelle Stark.
Police were called to the home about 6:30 p.m. The girl was able to talk with officers before an ambulance took her to Regions Hospital, where she remained Friday night, listed in stable condition with a noncritical injury, Stark said.
"We are lucky — yeah, very lucky," Stark said.
She said there were adults in the house but did not specify whether the girl's parents were present. Three other children were also in the home.
"It sounds like there was some repair work, or work being done on weapons or items related to the weapons, giving access to the 5-year-old," Stark said.
Police are investigating whether adults who were in the house negligently stored the loaded weapons and where the boy picked up the rifle.
Stark stressed the importance of safely storing guns and ammunition, as well as education and supervision of children when handling firearms.
On June 27, Kao Xiong, 31, was sentenced to 10 years' probation and community service in Hennepin County after his 4-year-old son found a gun behind a pillow and killed his 2-year-old brother on Dec. 5, 2012.
A jury convicted Xiong, of Minneapolis, of two counts of manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment.
Last August, a 2-year-old St. Paul boy survived a gunshot to the forehead after his 9-year-old brother got a loaded gun from an unlocked cabinet and accidentally shot him. Their father, Lue Xiong, 44, was convicted in December of negligent storage of a firearm, a gross misdemeanor.
He is serving two years' probation with community service that includes speaking to the Hmong community about the dangers of unsecure firearms around children.