Ellensburg, WA – According to a press release from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), 12-year-old Sydney Darnell was taken off life support on Monday, May 28, 2018, and was pronounced deceased by Harborview Medical Center physicians.
On May 27th, 2018 at about 12:30PM, Kittitas County Deputies and medical personnel responded to a report of a 12 year old who had been accidentally shot in the head while target practicing.
The KCSO’s preliminary investigation found that the girl, Sydney, and her mother were visiting the mother’s boyfriend, Sean A. Frick, on Sunday. Mr. Frick and Sydney were target practicing with a lever-action .22-caliber rifle. Sydney had just shot the rifle and wanted to go check the target, so she had laid the rifle down. Mr. Frick then noticed that Sydney had left the rifle loaded with the hammer cocked back, so he attempted to make the rifle safe. As he attempted to lower the hammer, it went off, striking Sydney, who was in the direct path of the round.
Sydney’s mother called 911 while Mr. Frick initiated CPR on Sydney, who was unresponsive. A Sheriff’s Deputy also assisted in performing life-saving measures until emergency medical personnel arrived on scene. Sydney was airlifed to Harborview Medical Center and did survive on life support until the following morning. Undersheriff Clay Myers had this to say of the incident:
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sydney’s family and friends as they face the sorrow and pain of this tragedy. We also pray that those who become aware of this incident will show compassion before deciding how they can use it to communicate their own personal belief and/or agenda. Tragic injury or loss of life, especially when it involves children, frustrates us and reaches all of our emotions. Just because Social media allows us the opportunity to criticize, condemn and hate, doesn’t mean we have to. It has been my experience that Righteous Indignation does little more than feed the ego of the sender, so before you decide to launch your attack, consider some of the beneficial alternatives; sympathy, mercy and compassion.
The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office is working with the County Coroner and the King County Medical Examiner on the investigation.