Man accused of accidentally shooting his 6-year-old daughter appears in court

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- "I just want to help my family. That's all I want to do. I understand what's going on. I understand now as to what's going on."

Those were the words said by 26-year-old Eldon McInville, a man who was arrested in connection with the accidental shooting of his six-year-old daughter. The daughter is expected to make a full recovery, but McInville, who is at the 4th Avenue Jail as of Friday, is facing some hefty charges.

McInville is facing child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon charges, and both charges carry mandatory prison sentences if convicted. Glendale Police accused McInville of acting in a reckless, dangerous manner.

On Friday, McInville made his first court appearance, in connection with the shooting. He was visibly upset and crying during most of it. He is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond, and there are some stiff release conditions that have been set.

"No going to the scene of the alleged crime. No contact with the victim. I know she's your daughter, but you may have no contact with her while the case is pending even if she contacts you first. You may not possess any weapons," said the presiding judge.

Police say they were called to the family's home near 75th Avenue and Glendale around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. McInville said he accidentally shot his daughter, and when police arrived, they say the girl had a gunshot wound to her abdomen, and her intestines were visible. The girl was taken to the hospital, where she's undergone several surgeries.

According to the police report, McInville said he had just finished cleaning his shotgun for the first time, and that he was in the room teaching his daughter gun safety. Afterward, he got up to put the gun away when he slipped and fell, causing the gun to go off. Police say they found several loaded guns in the home, including one that was unsecured on a TV stand.

"If you're a parent and have guns in the home and have children, you should be concerned that your guns are protected, stored in a safe place," said Fennemore Craig attorney Marc Lamber. "Gun safes, not accessible and locked for your kids."

Lamber says while 27 states have specific laws for gun storage around kids, Arizona is not one of them. Still, that doesn't mean a person can't be prosecuted.

"You can still be prosecuted for aggravated assault or worse, but we don't have an express law that criminalizes that particular conduct," said Lamber.

FOX 10 has spoken with the victim's grandmother, who was home at the time. She did not want to go on camera but says she saw the entire event, and it was 100% an accident. She says her son-in-law is a great father, and wouldn't do anything to hurt his daughter. She also said the little girl is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.

McInville is due back in court on May 2.