TEMPE, Ariz. - An empty dress now sits at the home of Robert Gonzalez - the father of 4-year-old Karyn Maria Gonzalez, who Tempe police say was playing with a gun Sunday and shot herself.
"She was a wonderful little kid," Gonzalez said. "A wonderful little princess."
According to Tempe Police, officers responded at 8:45 p.m. on May 16 to reports of a shooting after a family member said a 4-year-old girl shot herself at an apartment complex near Rural and Baseline Roads.
When officers arrived at the apartments, they found the 4-year-old girl with a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Nobody was watching her," her father said.
She was Robert's first child. The light of his world, taken too soon.
"It was the best four years in my entire life," Gonzalez said. "Now she’s gone for a gun being laid around in the house…I just wanna know what happened to her."
Police say an adult inside of the home had left the handgun unattended under a piece of furniture, thinking it was out of sight.
Karyn was supposed to graduate from preschool on Friday. But now, instead of kindergarten - her family is sending her off.
"Now she’s gone - now I have to see my daughter," said the father. "I have to sign papers so she can get cremated."
Police are reminding the public of the dangers of keeping an unsecured gun around the house.
"We want to take this opportunity to remind people if you own a gun, please keep it in a locked, secured, and in a safe place out of the reach of children," officials said in a statement.
GoFundMe for Karyn's family: https://gofund.me/2e65339e
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