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Coroner releases name of toddler accidentally shot in head

Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:36:31 PM CST   Updated On: Oct 29 2013 02:12:05 PM CDT

A toddler airlifted to a hospital in Springfield died on the way.  A bullet struck the 4-year-old in the head.


The 4-year-old girl who was killed by a .22-caliber bullet on Monday afternoon was Zoie Dougan of Branson.  Christian County Coroner Brad Cole released her identity on Tuesday morning.

The man who shot the girl in rural northeastern Christian  County is being held on an unrelated warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket in Webster County.   He was not charged for the shooting, as of Tuesday morning.  

The shooting happened around 2 p.m. a few miles south of Rogersville at a home off Highway U at Peck Road.

The man who pulled the trigger was next to an outbuilding in his backyard shooting a .22 rifle at an old jug about 20 yards away from where he was standing, according to Christian County Sheriff Joey Kyle.

"The building was on his right side and he was based up against the building that precluded him from seeing to the right in front of him and evidently that's where the young girl came from as he shot the rifle.  She ran in the path of the bullet," said Kyle.

The toddler was flown to a hospital in Springfield but died on the way.  She and her mother were visiting the family who lives at the home.

"I don't know enough facts to be able to sit here and tell you that negligence is the cause here, but it surely looks to be," Kyle said on Monday.

It will be up to the Christian County prosecuting attorney to decide whether to charge the man, once a report is sent to her.

An autopsy was done Tuesday morning.  Cole said the cause of death likely will be ruled massive brain trauma, secondary to injuries from the bullet.