12-year-old girl killed in target shooting accident

Girl, 12, dead in Cle Elum target shooting accident

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. - A 12-year-old girl from Arlington has died after she was accidentally shot in the head during a target practice.

Deputies with the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office said Sydney Darnell and her mother, Kiara Darnell, were visiting Kiara's friend in Cle Elum Monday afternoon.

According to a report, the family friend and Sydney were practicing shooting targets at Sandy Ridge Road with a lever action 22 rifle.

Sydney had just shot the rifle and walked down the hill to check her target. While Sydney was heading down the hill, the friend noticed she had left the rifle loaded with the hammer cocked back and he attempted to secure the device.

The gun accidentally went off when he tried lowering the hammer, and the sheriff's office said Sydney was in the direct path of the round.

Ms. Darnell called 911 while the man performed CPR on Sydney, who authorities said was unresponsive.

A Sheriff's deputy also worked to help save the girl until emergency medics from Fire District 6, 7 and Medic 1 arrived.

Sydney was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center around 1:40 p.m. and survived on life support until the Tuesday morning.

She was pronounced dead at Harborview Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

The Sheriff's Office is working with the County Coroner and the King County Medical Examiner on the investigation.

Action News has decided not to release the man's name in this incident.

Undersheriff Myers wished to convey their sympathy for the family and to take this opportunity to emphasize safety.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Sydney's family and friends as they face the sorrow and pain of this tragedy. We also pray that those who become aware of this incident will show compassion before deciding how they can use it to communicate their own personal belief and/or agenda. Tragic injury or loss of life, especially when it involves children, frustrates us and reaches all of our emotions. Just because Social media allows us the opportunity to criticize, condemn and hate, doesn't mean we have to. It has been my experience that Righteous Indignation does little more than feed the ego of the sender, so before you decide to launch your attack, consider some of the beneficial alternatives; sympathy, mercy and compassion."

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