Banning Patch – Rachel Avila, 30, of Banning, thought the .22-caliber North American Arms “derringer style” revolver was a cigarette lighter, police said. She pulled the trigger twice, the second time the gun fired, and the round ricocheted off the ground.
A 12-year-old girl was wounded by a ricocheting bullet Sunday evening in Banning, when her mother fired a tiny pistol she mistook for a cigarette lighter, police said. Banning police described the incident as an accidental shooting. A photo of the revolver was released Wednesday by Banning police. A “juvenile gunshot victim” was reported about 5:40 p.m. Sunday and officers responded to the emergency room at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning police said in a statement.
Rachel Avila, 30, told police she and her 12-year-old daughter, both of Banning, were talking with friends in front of their mobile home in the 100 block of North Phillips Avenue when Avila found what she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter, police said.
The lighter resembled a miniature firearm and it was lying on the ground, Avila told police. Avila picked it up and tried to light it by pulling the trigger, police said. The first time Avila pulled the trigger, nothing happened. The second time she pulled the trigger, a .22-caliber bullet was fired, police said.
“The bullet struck the ground, and then ricocheted upward and entered her daughter’s upper right arm,” the police statement said. The girl was taken to San Gorgonio Memorial, where she was treated and released, police said. The weapon Avila said resembled a cigarette lighter was identified as a North American Arms .22-caliber “derringer style” revolver, police said.
Derringers are among the smallest, potentially deadly handguns made. The case remained under investigation late Tuesday, police said. The police department advised caution to anyone who finds an object resembling a firearm or a suspicious device. “Do not handle the object and call local law enforcement for assistance,” Banning police said.
Banning police Sgt. Alex Diaz said, “We’re tying to find out who the gun belongs to, so we’re looking into that. At this point it is considered an accident.” Diaz urged anyone with information about the gun to contact the Banning police Detective Bureau at (951) 849-1194.
I get that those little gun lighters look exactly like real guns. I will acknowledge that. Here’s a couple shots of actual lighters.
Who cares though, right? So what if they look real. That means it’s okay to just give it a go? You shot your daughter with a gun you found in an alley because you thought it was a lighter and you tried to light up a cig with it? You are not fit to be a mother. You are not fit to be a human. You cheated Death this time, Rachel Avila, because you apparently light your cigarettes with the flame pointing toward the ground…something even Death could not have anticipated. Death underestimated your stupidity once. I doubt it will happen again. Hate to say it, but keep your eye on the headlines, folks… solid chance Rachel Avila will be found in the obituaries sometime soon.
[solid lob by LT]