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|Johnstown Weekly Tribune, 30 Aug 1907, Page 3, Contributed by Kerry L. Miller|
|BOY SHOOTS DEAD HIS YOUNG SISTER|
Was Cleaning Gun When Shell Exploded
BULLET IN HER BRAIN
VICTIM WAS ELSIE SMITH, AGED SEVEN YEARS.
At Time of Accident She Was Being Bathed and Brothers Had Just Come in from Shooting Mark - Physician Quickly on Scene, but Child Was Already Dead.
While cleaning a 22-caliber rifle on Saturday Elmer Smith, a boy aged about twelve years, shot and killed his little seven-year-old sister, Elsie Smith. The family lives opposite the Morrellville & Cambria Dam on the mountain road. The father, Benjamin Smith, is a miner.
Two of the Smith boys took their rifle after dinner and went some distance away, into the open, to shoot at a mark. They spent an hour or so in this manner.
When they returned to the house they sat down on the porch to clean the gun. The little girl was being bathed in a washtub on the porch at the time. She was splashing away in the water and having a great time. The boys put a shell in the gun, and, apparently, forgot about it. But while they continued their cleaning operation the weapon exploded; the ball struck the child on top of the head and sank deep into the brain.
A man with a buggy happened to be passing about that time and Dr. E. J. Burkhardt was gone after. In less than twenty minutes after the shooting the physician was at the Smith home, but the child was quite dead.
Neither the father or mother were in the house when the accident happened. Elmer Smith, the boy who discharged the gun, sobbed piteously for hours. "I didn't mean to do it," he cried; "I didn't mean to do it! Poor little Elsie!"