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A mother-of-five from North Carolina lost her life after a careless mistake resulted in one of her children playing with a deadly weapon found in her purse.
The 25-year-old mother, Gabriel Alexis Henderson, was all alone in the apartment with her five children on Monday, February 15th, 2021, when her child found a loaded gun and accidentally shot the mother at around 6:55 pm. At the time, Gabriel’s oldest child was sitting in the living room while the other siblings were in the bedroom, witnessing their mother’s death unfold.
When the police arrived at the scene, they found Gabriel’s body in the bedroom with a small semi-automatic handgun lying on the bed.
So far, investigators are unsure of how the gun went off. Gabriel was pronounced dead on the scene, but her youngest child was taken to the hospital after also being “inadvertently” shot.
Taken to Atrium Main Medical Center in Charlotte after the incident, the youngest sibling reportedly did not suffer life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover from the incident, as reported by the Daily Mail.
One woman, Juanita Johnson, who has been living on the same street for about 14 years, felt sad about what happened but added that the incident could have been avoided. “What are they doing with guns? You know, and they have children,” Juanita said, according to WDTV. “If you have a gun it should be in a gun safe. Why is it in her purse? Lock it up. What’s going on?”
Worried about the children, Juanita added, “I want to know who is going to take care of those kids now? Is there a father?”
Mom of five, 25, accidently shot dead after one of her own children found a loaded gun in her purse https://t.co/TUpAhjDfCN
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) February 18, 2021
After the tragic incident, the police department urged people to be more careful about keeping guns in the house. Capt. Jennifer Thompson with the Cornelius Police Department told FOX46, “We know that children are going to look at a gun and not be able to tell if it’s real or safe. That’s why we talk about how important it is to be a good gun owner.”
Keeping the five bereaved children in mind, a GoFundMe page was set up for the family, which said, “On February 15,2021 Gabby lost her life leaving 5 young kids. If you are able to assist with funeral and financial support for her children it will be greatly appreciated. On behalf of Gabby’s family, her closest friends, and entire family, we appreciate the outpouring love, prayers and support shown over the past days and undoubtedly days to come.”
Following Gabriel’s death, neighbors spoke fondly about her and described her as somebody who was extremely helpful.
“She was awesome, she was helpful to everybody,” one of Gabriel’s neighbors told Channel 9. “She helped me a lot because I have children so she always looked out for my kids when I needed her when I was working. She was just really a good mom. She worked really hard to be the best that she could be.”
It was reported that Gabriel’s five children were staying with family members, and according to FOX46, Capt. Thompson said, “All of the kids, will definitely need some help in the future.”