Father arrested after daughter wounded by shotgun blast told police he was teaching her gun safety

Posted at 2:30 PM, Apr 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-28 14:30:02-04

PHOENIX (AP) — A 26-year-old Glendale man arrested in the shooting of his 6-year-old daughter told police he was cleaning a shotgun and explaining gun safety to her before he dropped the loaded weapon and it discharged, critically wounding her, authorities said.

Eldon Mcinville was arrested Thursday and remained jailed Saturday on suspicion of child abuse/reckless and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Court records don’t list a defense attorney who could comment on his behalf.

A probable-cause statement said the girl was shot in the abdomen and faced multiple surgeries and lengthy hospitalization.

According to the statement, Mcinville told police that he had recently purchased the double-barreled shotgun and was cleaning it for the first time. He also said his daughter was in the room where he “was teaching her gun safety.”

The statement said Mcinville was the one who called 911. He told the dispatcher his daughter’s “intestines were visible.”

According to, police said she was alert and asking questions when police and firefighters arrived on the scene.

“They said she was the bravest, strongest girl they’ve ever seen. She was talking. She wasn’t crying. She was asking questions as any 6-year-old would do and they airlifted her to a local Valley hospital in life-threatening condition,” police Sgt. John Roth said.

Police said they found a second loaded shotgun in the closet of Mcinville’s bedroom and a loaded revolver on a television stand.

During Mcinville’s initial court appearance, Commissioner Jane McLaughlin described the circumstances of the shooting as “exceedingly reckless” and ordered that he have no contact with the girl if he posts $50,000 bail and is released from jail.

“No contact with the alleged victim,” McLaughlin said as Mcinville cried. “I know she’s your daughter, but you may not have contact with her while the case is pending -- even if she contacts you first.”

Mcinville asked the judge to reconsider the release conditions.

“My family, we’re already penny-pinching everything,” he said. “I just want to help my family. That’s all I want to do.”

McLaughlin advised him to speak to his lawyer when one is appointed.