Prosecutor: Boy, 8, shoots 4-year-old sister, mom leaves, goes back to work

Alyssa Mae Edwards, 27, of Hayesville, is charged with two counts of endangering children, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, Ashland County Sheriff’s Office officials said. She is being held at the county jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Deputies responded around 2:30 p.m. Saturday to a call about a 4-year-old girl being shot. The girl was taken to a Cleveland hospital, where she was expected to make a full recovery. 

The Ashland Times-Gazette reported that the boy shot his sister four times with a rifle at the family’s home. 

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Ashland County prosecutor Christopher Tunnell said Monday during a bond hearing for Edwards that the woman’s husband thought she was taking their children to a babysitter. She left the children home alone instead.

While their parents were at work, the boy got a .22-caliber rifle out of his father’s gun locker, which he knew how to unlock, the Times-Gazette reported. Tunnell said the boy was also familiar with how the gun worked. 

“The ammunition was stored separate from the gun, and it appears the 8-year-old was able to load the magazine and chamber the first round,” Tunnell said during the hearing

When Edwards, who was working at a nearby horse farm, learned about the shooting around 10 a.m., she went home.

“She came home, cleaned up a bed cover with blood on it, examined the 4-year-old and was aware the 4-year-old was injured at the time,” Tunnell said, according to the Times-Gazette. “And despite that knowledge, clocked back in at work at 11 a.m., leaving the 8-year-old and the 4-year-old home alone yet again.”

Edwards did not take her daughter to the hospital until hours later, when urine began to leak through one of the girl’s wounds, the prosecutor said. Her husband learned about the shooting only after police got involved. 

The little girl was in stable condition at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, the newspaper reported. Her brother was in the custody of social workers.  

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