A US woman with a permit to carry a concealed gun accidentally shot dead her two-year-old daughter, say police.
The woman, who has not been named, told an emergency operator the gun went off when she dropped it at a hotel near Cleveland, Ohio, on Friday night.
“The safety was on when I dropped the gun and the bullet shot her,” the mother said in a 911 call at 10.58pm, according to reports on ABC-5 TV.
“The gun dropped, I dropped my gun. She’s gone. My baby’s gone. She’s not breathing at all. She’s gone.”
Patrol officers and paramedics arrived at the Econo Lodge in Wickliffe at around 11pm to find the toddler with a bullet wound to the chest.
The young girl later died in hospital despite the efforts of patrol officers and paramedics.
Wickliffe Police said their preliminary investigation indicated the weapon went off while it was being handled by the mother.
“The firearm was legally possessed and the mother is a concealed carry permit holder,” police said.
“All indications at this time are that the shooting was accidental.
“Upon completion of a full investigation, the matter will be reviewed to determine what, if any, criminal charges should be filed.
“We are not releasing any names at this time as extended family is still being notified. This is truly a tragic situation; please keep this beautiful young child and her family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Facebook users commented on the Wickliffe PD page by calling for gun safety legislation and for the mother to be charged.
The incident is the latest example of shootings in the US involving very young children.
A total of 1,678 children aged five and under died of a gunshot wound between 1999 and 2016, including 184 infants under the age of one, 223 one-year-olds and 294 two-year-olds, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last week a pregnant woman was shot and injured by her three-year-old daughter after her partner left a loaded gun in their car while visiting a shop to buy some trousers.
In March a four-year-old boy shot his seven-month-old baby brother in Texas.
Other cases include the shooting of two three-year-olds by a toddler in Michigan in September and the killing of a seven-year-old girl by her two-year-old cousin last June.