Child killed in Grants Pass shooting Thursday

A 5-year-old girl was shot and killed Thursday night at a northwest Grants Pass home. A second gunshot victim, a woman, was being treated late Thursday night at Three Rivers Medical Center, after being shot in the torso. A man is in custody.

Thursday night at the scene of the shooting, Grants Pass police Lt. Dennis Ward said the investigation "is still preliminary."

The shooting was reported at about 9 p.m., in the 1000 block of Northwest C Street.

A neighbor, Chris Mehl, said he "heard a gunshot and then a rapid firing" and went out of his home and found the girl on a sidewalk. He said he tried to help her by trying to staunch the flow of blood from the back of her head.

"I tried to put a compress to stop the blood," he said. "I tried to move her as little as possible. I tried to do what I could."

Mehl said the child's mother was there, and was not the woman who was shot. Police have not yet released the names of the victims or of the shooter.

Another neighbor, Pia D'Ambrosio, said the man who eventually was detained by police said the gun "fell down and went off." She said she heard him speaking on a cellphone, apparently to police.

"He said it was an accident and it fell down the stairs and shot everybody," she said.

D'Ambrosio said the man was out in the street when officers arrived.

Dozens of neighbors and onlookers were in the neighborhood afterward, as officers, medics and fire and rescue personnel came and went.

"A terrible night," D'Ambrosio said. "Especially that child. She'll rest in the arms of the Lord."

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