HOBART, Ind. >> A northwestern Indiana man said he was showing a handgun to his sons and telling them to never play with it “because it can kill someone” when he accidentally shot and killed his 9-year-old daughter, according to court records.
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.
“This event has impacted each and every officer and civilian staff member at the police department,” Hobart Police Department spokesman Lt. James Gonzales said during a press conference a couple days after the shooting.
Hummel faces multiple charges, including reckless homicide and child neglect. He plans to plead not guilty, according to his attorney, Paul Stracci.
Stracci said the idea that Hummel knowingly endangered his children was “ridiculous.”
“Anyone who knows him knows he loves his kids more than anything in the world and would never do anything to hurt them,” Stracci said.
Hummel’s next court date is scheduled for Aug. 24.