A nine-year-old Amish girl was accidentally shot on her family’s Mercer County, Pennsylvania farm on Saturday.

Firearms are common in Amish farm households. The father had been using the 12-gauge shotgun to shoot rodents, and set it down to fish on a pond on the property.

According to PA State Trooper Joseph Morris, “there were several younger children that we believe caused the firearm to discharge.” The children in question were all younger than five.

Mercer County has one of the greatest numbers of individual Amish settlements of any county, with all or parts of six Amish communities within its borders (as of 2013).

The accident happened in Lackawannock Township, in the southeastern part of the county. My best guess given its location is that this is part of the New Wilmington community.

In the video below from KDKA, the reporter describes authorities encountering “a language barrier because the parents were German-speaking.” 

The girl was hit in the lower abdomen, and as of the report Saturday was in critical condition at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

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