Girl released from hospital after being struck by bullet

Report: Father pointed gun and pulled trigger

PORT ANGELES — The 5-year-old girl who was struck during an accidental discharge of a 9mm handgun wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, according to the police report filed in Clallam County District Court.

Stephen Jerrold Miller, 27, of Woodland was arrested and booked into Clallam County Jail on Sunday afternoon for investigation of reckless endangerment-domestic violence, a gross misdemeanor. He was released by the court late Monday afternoon. His next court date is unknown.

The girl was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and released, according to the Port Angeles Police Department.

Port Angeles police officers responded about 10:20 a.m. Sunday to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of West 15th Street to what was described to 9-1-1 dispatchers as an accidental firearm discharge.

Dispatchers were told a 5-year-old girl had been shot in the neck with a 9mm pistol and pressure was being applied to the wound, the report said.

When officers arrived, one of almost 20 people at the house pointed out a black semiautomatic pistol lying on the kitchen counter, the report stated. The gun did not have a magazine and the officer discovered it was empty after checking the chamber.

The gun later was found to be lacking a magazine disconnect mechanism, which prevents a semiautomatic pistol with a detachable magazine from striking the primer of ammunition in the firing chamber when the magazine is not inserted.

An officer found Miller and his daughter sitting on the back deck, both crying and both wearing blood-stained shirts, according to the report. The girl had what appeared to be an entrance wound on the right side of her neck and an exit wound in her upper right shoulder but was not bleeding, according to the report.

The incident occurred in a Chevrolet Tahoe parked in the driveway, the report stated. The officers obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found a bullet that had been discharged on the passenger seat. The driver’s rearview mirror was shattered and appeared to have been impacted by the bullet, according to the report.

Officers also found a stroller in the back cargo area that had a damaged wheel as if it had been struck and shattered by a bullet, the report stated. The third row seat also had what appeared to be a bullet hole.

The driver’s side second row seat had a mark that appeared to be from a bullet, and the rearview mirror appeared to have been struck by a bullet, according to the report.

“The entry and exit wound located on (redacted), taken in conjunction with the physical evidence located inside the vehicle, indicated that (redacted) was in the third row of the vehicle, facing her father, who was at the back of the vehicle. Stephen pointed his pistol into the vehicle towards his daughter and pulled the trigger,” the report stated.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at brian.gawley@peninsulanews.us.