Father Shoots Teen Daughter Mistaken for Intruder


FREDERICK COUNTY, Va. - Many buy guns to protect themselves against crime, but for one father in Frederick County a split decision to use his gun backfired after he accidentally shot his 16-year-old daughter.

"[A] male subject stated, ‘My daughter's been shot and I’m taking her to the hospital.’ There was an open line for a few seconds and then the phone disconnected," said Captain Donnie Lang with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, describing the 911 call into dispatch.

Investigators said the confusion happened in the 400 block of Lily's Way around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday when the girl's father was getting ready for work.

According to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office in Virginia, the father has been identified as Deputy Easton McDonald, with the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office. They stated he did not fire his on-duty weapon. 

"The homeowner, he has an alarm system inside what I call is ‘audible,’ in that it tells you what door is being opened," said Lang.

McDonald's alarm system, another safety precaution, told him the garage had just been opened.

"When he went to go investigate what had set off the alarm, he heard some banging and rustling around in the garage,” said Lang. “At that particular point, he obtained a firearm that he had there in the kitchen area."

The rustling wasn't an intruder, but his teenage daughter.

"Later on, it was determined that the daughter had snuck out hours earlier that morning, and was attempting to sneak back into the home," said Lang. 

Lack of visibility in the garage, and the feeling that someone was "coming at him" led McDonald to fire the gun, hitting his daughter in her torso.

Within moments, he realized his mistake, and rushed her to Winchester Medical Center. However, in the hurry and chaos, McDonald accidentally wrecked his car at Cork Street and East Lane in Winchester while attempting to transport his daughter to the hospital.

Winchester Fire and Rescue were able to safely transport the girl the rest of the way there, where she remains in stable condition.

"We [will] confer with the Commonwealth’s Attorney's office [to] reference all the facts, and once it is completed, determine how they want us to go further," said Lang of whether or not any charges were going to be filed.

McDonald received no physical injuries as a result of the crash. However, investigators said he is emotionally distraught over the accidents.

As of Wednesday, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said his daughter appears to be doing much better.

The case remains under investigation.

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