MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - An 18-month-old toddler died Tuesday after she was shot in south Memphis Sunday evening. She became the third child shot in the Mid-South within a week.
Maria Pacheano and her boyfriend were arrested Friday, April 27 after her four year old daughter died at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. Both are charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and tampering with evidence. Investigators in Calhoun County, Mississippi are trying to figure out what led to the child’s shooting.
A Collierville teen was in serious condition after police say her 17-year-old brother accidentally shot her at their family home on Fabert Cove. On Tuesday, May 1 their mother, Cynthia Ward, was charged with reckless endangerment.
The shooting of the 18-month-old girl, while being called accidental by neighbors, was no less shocking. “It’s terrible what happened.” said neighbor Shirley Craig.
“All I know is she was shot in the head by her brother.” Neighbor Vernita Burns told abc24.com.
The little girl, identified only as "Cavionne," lived and played in the 1400-block of Lapaloma Circle in south Memphis.
“They were very close to me,” said Burns, “in my house every day. If not inside, then right here in the yard, playing. They called me Grandma.”
“Grandma” and everyone else felt a brief flicker of hope while at Le Bonheur late Monday night.
“They thought there was some hope last night when I was there,” said Burns, “because she was moving her body. But, they did another brain test on her and they found nothing; she was just gone.”
Word of the little girl’s death spread quickly throughout the neighborhood; the news hit Davina Moore hard.
“Yes, because I have a little baby,” said Moore, “you just have to be more careful.”
All the neighbors agreed Cavionne’s mom is a great mother, her brother meant nothing malicious, and “it’s a horrible thing, it’s horrible they were children. I’m kind of emotional; you’ll have to forgive me.” Burns said.
“If you have children around the house,” said Craig, “you do not need a weapon in your house.”
“They’re all shook up,” Burns told abc24.com of the little girl’s family, “they’re just hurting. They can’t understand it.”
So far police have released no other details on the case, except to say the investigation was ongoing and no charges had been filed.