A 5-year-old girl left home alone in New Orleans while her mother went to the store fatally shot herself in the head, police said Sunday.
The child's mother, Laderika Smith — who turned 28 on Sunday, according to the jail website — was booked on a charge of cruelty to a juvenile for leaving her alone.
Officers were called to her North Galvez St. home shortly before 11 a.m. and found the little girl had "accidentally shot herself in the head," police said in a statement.
Smith told investigators she locked her daughter in the home while she went to the store and when she returned, found her on the bedroom floor, police said. She admitted to having a .38 caliber revolver, which police found at the scene, they said.
The child, whose name was not released, was on life support for several hours before being pronounced dead. The district attorney will decide whether to press additional charges against Smith after an autopsy, police said.