Sanford police arrest man in accidental shooting death of 6-year-old

Cops: 6-year-old A'letha Burke killed while handling unsecured gun

SANFORD, Fla. – Sanford police said on Wednesday they have arrested a man in the accidental shooting death of a 6-year-old girl.

The fatal shooting happened around 8:25 p.m. Tuesday on Highlawn Avenue near State Road 46A and South French Avenue.

Erik Dominick Williams has been charged with child neglect with great bodily harm and unsafe storage of a firearm after 6-year-old A'letha Amanii Marie Burke was injured while handling an unsecured firearm that accidentally discharged, according to police.

A'letha was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital with a gunshot wound to the shoulder and was pronounced dead, Sanford police said.

Police said during the investigation, they found that Williams knew the firearm was stored without any safety mechanisms under the living room sofa where it was easily accessible, and that Williams let A'letha play in the area where the gun was stored.

Williams was taken to Seminole County jail.

Crime scene investigators spent hours at the home, and an investigation is ongoing, with additional charges possibly following.

Seminole County Public Schools said grief counselors will remain at the school as needed.

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