An Indiana father was teaching his children gun safety and told them not to ever play with a gun “because it can kill someone.” Sadly, he did not actually practice gun safety during this lesson.
The first rule of handling a gun is to always treat it as if it is loaded. That means you do not point it at anyone or anything that you would not want to kill or destroy.
Not only did Eric Hummel break that first, and most important, rule but he also did not even check and double check the chamber to ensure that there was not a loaded bullet.
Due to his carelessness, the lesson he attempted to teach his children will forever have impact on his two little boys who witnessed Hummel shoot and kill their 9-year-old sister, Olivia.
Eric Hummel sobbed while reporting the shooting during a 911 call on June 10, telling the dispatcher, “This can’t be real,” the Post-Tribune reported. His daughter, Olivia, died about 30 minutes later at a hospital.
Authorities said the 33-year-old father was showing his sons a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun when he inadvertently shot Olivia as she walked into the room. Hummel told the 911 dispatcher he didn’t realize the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger.
The dispatcher instructed Hummel to perform CPR on his daughter until emergency responders arrived. An autopsy showed the girl was shot in the forehead at close range.
The newspaper obtained the 911 call recording through a public records request.
Hummel said, “I had my gun, and I pulled the trigger. I didn’t realize there was a bullet in there, and I shot my daughter.”
The dispatcher asked him if he could perform CPR to which he asked, “Should I press on her chest?”
“Yes,” the dispatcher responded.
Hummel said, “She’s got blood, man, everywhere,” and then he could be heard whispering, “Please don’t go.”
Hummel reportedly called the girl’s mother from the police station and told her to go to the hospital because their daughter was dead. One of the responding officers reportedly overheard Hummel say, “I shot her. I’m so sorry.”
One of Hummel’s sons—the 9-year-old—said his father pointed the gun at him “probably like two times” and “a few times” at the other brother, the police report alleged.
Hobart Police Chief Richard W. Zormier said at a press conference, “I believe this was a series of heinous and depraved acts committed by the suspect on June 10. His actions that day endangered the lives of all three children and ultimately stole the life of Olivia, an innocent 9-year-old girl.”
He continued, “His actions caused the death of Olivia and likely scarred the boys emotionally for life.”
Hummel is now facing multiple charges including: reckless homicide and child neglect. According to his attorney, Paul Stracci, he plans to plead not guilty.
Stracci stated, “Anyone who knows him knows he loves his kids more than anything in the world and would never do anything to hurt them.”
Hummel’s next scheduled court date Aug. 24.