LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A young girl is fighting for her life at a Las Vegas hospital after police said she found a gun, picked it up, and shot herself.
Las Vegas Metro police said, Ava, 2, picked up the gun that was dropped at a playground on Friday near Owens Avenue and Nellis Boulevard.
A family friend described Baby Ava as a cute and bubbly two-year-old.
“She is learning and exploring being a kid,” Tawyna Rosenthal said.
According to police, Ava was enjoying the playground at a daycare on Friday until she found a loaded gun on the ground. The gun went off and she was rushed to the hospital.
“They didn’t even know what exactly happened other than their child was shot,” Rosenthal said.
She also added that the bullet barely missed Ava’s heart.
As doctors worked on the two-year-old, police discovered earlier in the day that there was a shooting on a bus near the daycare.
A teenage gunman identified by police as Tshaun Rucker, 16, is accused of shooting a person and then running through the daycare playground where he allegedly hid the gun, police said.
“It is heartbreaking to know that a baby is fighting for their life,” Rosenthal said.
She told 8 News Now since both shooting victims were taken to a nearby hospital, Ava’s parents were not able to see her until that evening.
“To see your child in breathing tubes was terrifying,” she expressed.
Rosenthal shared with 8 News Now that Ava has had a few surgeries but one of her lungs had collapsed.
Doctors put her in a medically induced coma to let her body rest.
“No child should have to have that, that is a big battle for such a little baby,” Rosenthal added
Doctors predict Ava will be in the hospital for at least two months. Her parents and grandparents have not left her side.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.
As for the suspected gunman, Rucker faces felony charges of attempted murder, three counts of discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle, and child abuse.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.