Girl shot while father cleans gun


by By ROB PIERCY / KING 5 News

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 3:55 PM

Video: Girl shot while father cleans guns

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - The father of a 6-year-old girl who was shot while he was cleaning guns has been jailed for investigation of manslaughter.

Investigators say on Sunday night, the girl's father, Richard Peters, was cleaning his guns.

"He had sent the 6-year-old girl up to his bedroom to get a gun out of his nightstand," said Rebecca Hover of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

The gun was a Colt .45 Double Eagle.


Police say during an interview with investigators, Peters told them when his daughter handed him the gun, he pulled out the magazine and pulled the trigger.

The gun fired, and Peters' daughter dropped to the ground. She had been shot in the head.

Investigators say Peters told them that while cleaning his guns, he was drinking vodka, pouring himself multiple double drinks. He told them he was probably too drunk to drive.

"I don't think I have the words to describe the tragedy of this situation and how it just defies all logic and common sense," said Hover.

Investigators say Peters told them he lets all of his kids handle guns, including his 8-year-old and 3-year-old.

The children are in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Investigators say a few weeks ago, Peters accidentally fired a shotgun during a pumpkin "shoot-up" in Darrington. He said he didn't know the gun was loaded.

Peters is in jail on $250,000 bail.