8-year-old in intensive care after accidentally shot with rifle in Madera County

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- It is a difficult time for Luz Venegas. Her daughter, 8-year-old Jahira Alfaro, is in the intensive care unit at Valley Children's Hospital after a .22 caliber bullet hit her in the back.

Venegas is just thankful her daughter is alive, "Thank you God she opened her eyes a little while ago she's talking she is in a little pain and she has a little bit of fever but thank you God."

Luz was not with her daughter when the shooting occurred. The third grader was in her fathers home in rural Madera County on Sunday night when a 5-year-old cousin found a .22 rifle.

"What I can confirm is the five-year-old did gain access to the firearm and accidentally shot a 8-year-old in the back," said Deputy Kayla Serratto of the Madera County Sheriff's Office.

Serrato says adults were outside the house when it happened and the sheriff's department is recommending charges be filed.

"We have forwarded a report to the Madera County District Attorney regarding charges criminal storage of a firearm against the owner of the residence.

The girls father and others drove her to the hospital Sunday night.

Her parents are divorced and her mother recalls how she felt when she got the call that her daughter had been shot.

"I was shocked it was like a nightmare but thank you God the hospital has been doing a good job with my daughter," Venegas said.

It is not clear who owns the house but it's where the father of the girl has been living . The sheriffs department says this is a sad reminder of the importance need to keep firearms secure and away from children.
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