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Girl, 3, dies in shooting at Yellowstone

Father’s gun was used; no charges filed as investigation continues

A 3-year-old Idaho girl was killed in a shooting at a Yellowstone National Park campground last weekend, officials said Sunday.

Officials at Yellowstone National Park released the victim’s name Monday afternoon. Ella Marie Tucker from Pocatello, Idaho, was killed in a Saturday morning shooting at the Grant Village Campground.

Efforts by emergency responders to resuscitate the girl were unsuccessful.

The handgun belonged to her father, according to a park employee. No one has been charged in the fatal shooting, but the girl’s mother, in a 911 call Saturday morning, said the girl had shot herself.

“At this point it remains under investigation,” said Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash.

National Park Service rangers and special agents are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

An obituary for the girl in an Idaho newspaper referred to her death as a “tragic accident.”

Carrying guns in national parks and federal wildlife areas has been allowed since February 2010. However, Yellowstone only allows the discharge of guns “in rare circumstances,” and hunting is banned, Nash said.

This is the first fatal shooting in Yellowstone National Park in 35 years, since a pair of 1978 incidents. James Lee Hamar, a 17-year-old California resident, was murdered in Yellowstone, while April Cruse, 32, whose home state is unknown, committed suicide.

In 1938, the 13-year-old son of the park’s master mechanic accidentally shot himself in the head with a rifle, Nash said.

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