Amish Girl in Critical Condition After Accidental Shooting

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 (removed), 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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    15 Comments

    1. Oh this is so sad...

      So sorry to hear of the tragic news. Our prayers are with this little one and the rest of the family.

      1. Verity Pink

        Praying too

        I’m praying for her and her family and have forwarded the link to a prayer group to which I belong on the Amish Living website. Thank you Erik for bringing it to our attention.

    2. Juanita Cook

      This is so sad. My thoughts and prayers are with this child and her family.

    3. Derek J.

      I wonder if the State will press charges. If convicted it could be tragic for the rest of the family. Having the man of the farm removed could spell trouble as no one would be available to get things done and sustain the farm. Naturally I’m assuming the family farms for a living. I’m sure the church will step up in any event as that is what Amish do.

    4. Donna J

      I am praying for the girl and her family. What a tragic accident. God be with them and help her recover!

    5. FREDDY GALLO

      BEWARE OF GUNS

      GET RID OF YOUR DEVIL MADE GUNS AND TRUST THE LORD TO PROTECT YOU FROM ALL EVIL…THIS GIRL IS LOOSING HER LIFE FOR AN EVIL GUN…GUNS ARE EVIL IN THE HANDS OF ANYBODY…THE DEVIL IS A DECEIVER AND HE WILL DECEIVE EVEN THE VERY ELECT…IF GOD IS YOUR GOD AND YOU TRUST HIM TO WATCH OVER YOUR FAMILY, GET RID OF YOUR EVIL GUNS…MAY GOD HELP THIS GIRL.

      1. lanore

        Wow, really think they needed that right now. If you read the story her father was shooting rodents. Guns are not evil the person who uses it for bad is evil.

      2. Guns are a tool many people including Amish use. There is a safety discussion to be had and hopefully others leaving loaded guns in easy access to young children take a lesson. No doubt the father must now deeply regret leaving the gun out, but at this point I just hope the girl makes it.

    6. lanore

      So sorry, she is in our prayers as well as her fsmily.

    7. So so very sad.. for all of the children.. what a nightmare.

      Im really surprised that those kids werent taught gun safety.. I was raised with guns and my dad instilled gun safety in us starting while we were still in diapers.. I’ve found that kids who are taught gun safety very early on are not the ones who get into trouble with guns.. its the untrained ones.

    8. Alice Mary

      Another senseless tragedy. I’m sure the father is beside himself, yet I know most Amish would consider it God’s will. Leaving a loaded shotgun within reach of children under 5 is just so PREVENTABLE. But what do I know?

    9. june gasrel tibbetts

      Amish girl shooting

      Praying for this little one and also all her family. May they find strength and comfort as Our Lord provides abundantly in our time of need. What Satan means for evil, God can turn to beauty…Our prayers open Heavens door and meet our every need. The Lord Bless and keep you.

    10. Care fund for hospitalized girl

      A fund has been set up to help this family. She’s had 3 surgeries and is likely to need more. From the Sharon Herald article linked below:

      “Donations can be made at any First National Bank of Pennsylvania location or at Amish Oak Showcase Furniture, 2031 Mercer-New Wilmington Road, New Wilmington. All checks should be made payable to Amanda Byler Fund.”

      http://www.sharonherald.com/news/local_news/fund-set-up-to-help-with-shot-amish-girl-s/article_1f8da682-ead6-11e4-bca3-4bd55f14c7a8.html

    11. Deborah Rouse

      Child

      Good evening,

      This is from 2015.
      Did this little child recover?

      1. I never saw additional public info after this series of articles – on the incident and fundraiser. Hopefully that means good news. If anyone knows, please pass along any shareable info.