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A 25-year-old North Carolina mother was accidentally shot and killed Monday night after her young child found a loaded gun in her purse, according to Cornelius police.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting at Cornelius Village Apartments on Meridian Street off Catawba Avenue around 7 p.m ET.

When officers arrived they found Gabriel Alexis Henderson dead in a bedroom of her apartment, police said.

Detectives recovered a semi-automatic handgun found on the bed laying near the victim. They determined the only people inside the apartment at the time of the shooting were the victim and her five children.

Police believe four of the five children were in the room at the time of the shooting and detectives believe one stumbled upon the gun inside the mother’s purse.

Henderson was fatally shot, along with her youngest child suffering non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

North Carolina mother killed after child finds gun in her purse, police say  was originally published on