6-year-old Marysville girl fatally shot in head
The father of a 6-year-old girl who died after being shot in the head Sunday had been drinking double shots of vodka while he cleaned his guns, according to probable cause documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
The father of a 6-year-old Marysville girl who died after being shot in the head Sunday had been drinking double shots of vodka while he cleaned his guns, according to probable-cause documents.
According to those court papers, Richard Peters told deputies he had drunk several double vodkas before the shooting and he felt that at the time he would have been too intoxicated to drive.
Peters, 42, was arrested and is being held on investigation of first-degree manslaughter. He is being held in the Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Peters was at home with his wife and three children on Sunday when he sent his daughter upstairs to fetch a Colt Double Eagle .45-caliber handgun from his nightstand.
Snohomish County sheriff's investigators said Peters told them he took out the magazine, pulled the trigger and the gun went off.
He also said that the Colt has a "hair trigger."
According to deputies, Peters told them he had been in the military, was "very proficient" with firearms and that he had both a license and a permit to carry concealed weapons.
He also told deputies that all of his children handle weapons, according to court documents.
His other two children, an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old, have been removed from the home by Child Protective Services, according to Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover.
"They're wonderful people. This is a terrible tragedy for the whole neighborhood," said neighbor Erika Smith.
She said the Peters' children were among five children in the close-knit neighborhood who played together constantly.
The death of the 6-year-old has been devastating for them all, she said.
"We're just trying to keep it together for the children's sake and trying to be there for the family," she said.
The girl was airlifted to Seattle Children's Hospital, where she died overnight, said Lt. Jeff Brand.
According to authorities, Peters called 911 at 7:26 p.m. Sunday to report that his daughter had been shot in the head. Deputies arrived at the 4500 block of 83 Place Northwest around 7:50 p.m. The father had told a 911 operator that he and his daughter were cleaning guns when the girl was shot, deputies said.
Detectives have completed their on-scene investigation, Hover said. They removed other firearms from the house, but she did not specify how many weapons or which types.
According to deputies, Peters told them he had accidentally discharged a shotgun during a "pumpkin shoot up" in Darrington the day after Halloween when a friend handed him what he thought was an unloaded shotgun and he pulled the trigger.
* Girl's school notifies parents (PDF)