ROSEVILLE, CA - A 3-year-old girl died Tuesday night after authorities said she found a handgun belonging to her father and accidentally shot herself, according to Roseville police.
Roseville police identified the child's father as Ken Skogen, a deputy with the Placer County Sheriff's Department. The Placer County coroner identified the victim as Kalli Skogen.
Around 6 p.m., the girl was in the garage with her father when she found the loaded gun and fired a shot, according to Roseville police. Lt. Mike Doane said Wednesday the firearm was not the deputy's service revolver but a personal .40 caliber handgun.
The bullet struck the child in her abdomen and she was rushed to Sutter Roseville Hospital.
She was taken into surgery shortly after arriving, according to Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther. By 8 p.m., doctors decided to life-flight her to UC Davis Medical Center to be treated in the pediatric trauma center.
The child was pronounced dead at 8:22 p.m.
One neighbor said she would often see the girl spending time with her father.
"She's really cute and very curious," said a neighbor who only wanted to be identified as Karen. "When her dad's out there doing anything, doing yard work or decorating the front of the house (she was) always asking him questions and just right by his side."
According to Gunther, the Roseville Police Department is conducting an investigation into the shooting and will submit the results to the Placer County District Attorney's Office, which will determine whether any charges will be filed. Detectives say the investigation was in a very early stage and a report was not likely before Friday.
Investigators on the scene said Skogen had taken gun safety classes and evidence at the home indicated he took gun safety very seriously.
"This person, the adult in the residence, had definitely taken steps to keep this firearm away from children," said Roseville police Sgt. Darrin DeFreece. "So now what we're looking into is what happened to those safeguards that he had already put into place."
It wasn't long ago that Skogen was called a hero by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Skogen rescued an elderly woman from her burning house during the 49 Fire in Auburn last August.
According to the Placer County Sheriff's Department, Skogen has been with the department three years and is on bereavement leave.