The suspect had allegedly hit the tot with a sandal right before for failing to wake the woman up and eating food without permission.
Breanna Runions, 25, was charged with murder and aggravated child abuse after allegedly pushing the loaded gun into little Evangaline Gunter’s chest and pulling the trigger at a home in Rockwood on Sunday, WBIR reported.
Runions, who was not the child’s mother, initially tried claiming to officers that she’d taken the magazine out of her 9mm handgun in the moments before giving the so-called firearm lesson, according to the arrest affidavit.
“Runions related that she then called Gunter over to show her firearm safety, at which point she pressed the barrel of the gun into the front of Gunter’s torso and pulled the trigger, discharging a round into Gunter,” the affidavit said.
Authorities said the suspect “may have initially led investigators to believe that she was demonstrating to the scared 4-year-old ‘firearms safety.’ “
Four-year-old Evangaline Gunter was shot dead at a home in Rockwood, Tenn., on Sunday, authorities said. Facebook
Breanna Runions, 25, was charged with murder for allegedly shooting little Evangaline Gunter dead. Facebook
But investigators started questioning her account after another woman in the home — who also wasn’t related to the girl — allegedly said Runions had been punishing Evangaline and another child earlier that day.
Just before the fatal shooting, the two kids were allegedly punished by being struck with a sandal and made to stand in a corner for not waking Runions and the other woman up, as well as for eating food without permission, the affidavit said.
Authorities haven’t confirmed the relationship between Runions, the other woman and the two children.
They also wouldn’t say why the kids were staying at the home and not with their parents.
The 4-year-old girl’s biological parents (above) claim the child had been living at the home with Runions as part of a court order.WBIR
The state Department of Children’s Services, which had responded to the home in the past, is probing the living situation in the wake of the shooting, authorities said.
A woman who said she was Evangaline’s biological mother told the outlet the little girl lived at the house because of a court order and was only supposed to be there for two more months.
“I feel like it’s my fault that I let her be there. I should have been more attentive,” the mom said. “I wish I could have been a better mother for her, to pay attention.
“But it was a court decision in everything that we had done this for, and this is what happens.”