OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — A nine-year-old girl who was killed by her mother’s boyfriend Sunday night in what may have been an accidental shooting has been identified.
At about 5 p.m. Sunday, Shayla May Shonneker was shot in the head by 33-year-old Joseph Wolters at her home at 2012 12th Street.
She was airlifted to Oregon Health & Science University, where she later died.
According to Oregon City police, Wolters had recently been hired to a security position for an armored transport company. He told officers he was practicing holstering his handgun when it went off.
Emergency responders found Shonneker in the backyard.
Oregon City police said that Wolters was arrested in 2007 in Clackamas County on a warrant for being absent without leave from the U.S. Army. However, the department later clarified that the arrest was made due to a mistake by the U.S. military. Wolters is reportedly a decorated veteran of the Iraq War. He is currently a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.
Wolters had a 4-year-old son with Shonneker’s mother. Shonneker is also survived by her mother, father and 12-year-old brother.
The Gladstone School District, where Shonneker was an elementary student, has been notified of the incident.
Oregon City police did not immediately confirm if Wolters would face any criminal charges.
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