'I thought it was empty': Father says he fatally shot daughter, 9, while teaching sons gun safety
Eric Hummel sobbed while reporting the shooting during a 911 call on June 10, telling the dispatcher, "This can't be real."
(FOX NEWS) -- A northwestern Indiana man said he was showing a handgun to his sons and telling them to never play with it "because it can kill someone" when he accidentally shot and killed his 9-year-old daughter, according to court records.
Eric Hummel sobbed while reporting the shooting during a 911 call on June 10, telling the dispatcher, "This can't be real," the Post-Tribune reported. His daughter, Olivia, died about 30 minutes later at a hospital.
Authorities said the 33-year-old father was showing his sons a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun when he inadvertently shot Olivia as she walked into the room. Hummel told the 911 dispatcher he didn't realize the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger.
The dispatcher instructed Hummel to perform CPR on his daughter until emergency responders arrived. An autopsy showed the girl was shot in the forehead at close range.
The newspaper obtained the 911 call recording through a public records request.
"I had my gun, and I pulled the trigger. I didn't realize there was a bullet in there, and I shot my daughter," Hummel told the dispatcher.
The call continued and the dispatcher asked if he could perform CPR.
"Should I press on her chest?" he asked
"She's got blood, man, everywhere," he replied.
The paper reported that he could be heard whispering, “Please don’t go.”
Hummel reportedly called the girl’s mother from the police station and told her to go to the hospital because their daughter was dead. One of the responding officers reportedly overheard Hummel say, “I shot her. I’m so sorry.”
One of Hummel’s sons—the 9-year-old—said his father pointed the gun at him “probably like two times” and “a few times” at the other brother, the police report alleged.
Hobart Police Chief Richard W. Zormier said at a press conference, “I believe this was a series of heinous and depraved acts committed by the suspect on June 10. His actions that day endangered the lives of all three children and ultimately stole the life of Olivia, an innocent 9-year-old girl.”
He continued, “His actions caused the death of Olivia and likely scarred the boys emotionally for life.”
Hummel faces multiple charges, including reckless homicide and child neglect. He plans to plead not guilty, according to his attorney, Paul Stracci.
Stracci said the idea that Hummel knowingly endangered his children was "ridiculous."
"Anyone who knows him knows he loves his kids more than anything in the world and would never do anything to hurt them," Stracci said.
Hummel's next court date is scheduled for Aug. 24.
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