Shooting death of Middle Point toddler is ‘suspected accident’


By J Swygart - jswygart@limanews.com



VAN WERT — Details are slowly starting to emerge following the death of a 4-year-old Middle Point girl last week as the result of a gunshot wound.

Van Wert County Sheriff Tom Riggenbach late Monday afternoon identified the shooting victim as Aubrie Moore. An autopsy on the child’s body was performed by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office and, according to Heather Lee, an investigator for the Allen County Coroner’s Office, the preliminary autopsy report showed Moore died of a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death, Lee said, was described in the report as a “suspected accident.”

A 911 call placed to the Van Wert County Dispatch at approximately 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9 began with a frantic female voice: “Aubrie no! Aubrie no!” the woman said. “My daughter just shot herself. Oh my God,” she told dispatchers.

A male then took over the 911 call and said, “Our daughter just got into a gun, and she shot herself.” He directed emergency crews to 301 E. Lewis St., Middle Point.

“Is she still breathing?” the dispatcher asked.

“No,” the man said before his statements became inaudible. The female that was on the phone initially continued to scream hysterically in the background.

“We will get you some help down there,” the dispatcher said before the call ended.

The child was transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center by Middle Point EMS and was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to a statement issued by Riggenbach on the day of the incident.

On Monday, Van Wert County Prosecuting Attorney Eva Yarger said, “This appears to be a tragic accident, but we have not reached any conclusions at this point. The incident is still under investigation, and we have not ruled out whether other further factors were involved, such as negligence or child endangering.”

The Van Wert County grand jury will not meet this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic but could consider the case at a later date, Yarger said.

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By J Swygart

jswygart@limanews.com

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