A Texas man fatally shot his 11-year-old daughter Saturday in what appears to have been a hunting accident, officials said.
The child was identified as Daisy Grace Lynn George, a sixth-grader in junior high school in the Hallsville Independent School District, Harrison County Sheriff’s Capt. Tyler Owen said.
Harrison County is in northeastern Texas along the Louisiana border.
The girl’s father, who has not been publicly identified, has not been charged with any crimes, Owen said. The man was hunting when he was unloading a high-powered rifle, which fired and struck his daughter once, Owen said.
Although the investigation is ongoing, Owen said, the shooting appears to have been a tragic accident. “For it to be a father and daughter is just a horrible situation,” he said.
Dispatchers began receiving 911 calls at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday about a "hunting accident involving an 11-year-old female," the sheriff’s office said in a statement. "Further calls determined that a father had accidentally shot his 11-year-old daughter."
Air transportation was requested, the sheriff’s office said, but all emergency helicopters were grounded because of inclement weather. The critically wounded girl was transported with a police escort to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, where she was pronounced dead, officials said.
Hunting season for white-tailed deer began earlier in November, Owen said.
Sheriff Brandon J. Fletcher said in the statement: “Anytime a young person loses their life, it’s tragic for all involved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.”
The sheriff’s office is investigating with the state Parks and Wildlife Department game warden, officials said. Owen said the district attorney will get the case when the investigation is completed and that prosecutors will determine whether the man will be charged.
Officials with the Hallsville Independent School District could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.
NBC affiliate KETK of Tyler reported that Hallsville Junior High School announced Sunday afternoon that in honor of Daisy’s favorite color, all staff members and students throughout the district are encouraged to wear purple.
Owen said the sheriff's office is working with the school district to provide grief counselors.
A GoFundMe account to help pay for Daisy's funeral expenses had collected more than $8,800 of its goal of $10,000 from 138 donations as of Monday afternoon.
"On November 27 God received an angel whose time was cut very short," the account said.
"Through a hunting accident we lost a very special little girl. She was always a joker trying to lift everyone’s spirits. She loved to draw her heart out. Daisy loved to be surrounded by the outdoors. Always down for an adventure big or small. Please help us lay this little girl down to rest. Thank you so much for any help."
According to state figures, deaths from hunting accidents are rare but not unheard of. The state Parks and Wildlife Department said in an accident report last year that from 2016 to 2020, 12 people were killed by accident. Another 107 were involved in nonfatal accidents during the same period, the report said.