PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was around 8 p.m. Thursday when family and friends were sitting around the dining room table in a house on Jancey Street in Morningside.
Among them was 13-year-old neighbor, Mary Lambert.
“Mary was over here. She was eating cake and ice cream,” said Joan Thorp, the homeowner.
Thorp had gone into her kitchen to finish up the dishes.
“And all of a sudden I hear a loud explosion,” said Thorp. “Why people say they hear pop, pop, pop, like a firecracker, I don’t know. This noise, I thought my roof was falling in.”
Thorp says it was chaos.
“Everybody’s jumping up and running and screaming, the dogs just took off,” she said.
Mary was in the chair covered in blood. One of Thorp’s granddaughters was wrapping a belt around her leg for a tourniquet.
A bullet entered Mary’s calf just below the knee and came out and entered the floor.
“The only thing Mary was worried about is, ‘Am I going to die? Am I going to die?’” said Thorp.
Police say the bullet came from a high-powered rifle.
A family friend, known as Bear brought the weapon over for Thorp’s son, Michael, to clean. Bear was holding the rifle when it went off.
“Bear panicked. He ran out of the house. He ran to get his mother and came back with her,” Thorp said.
He was arrested in front of the house. His real name has not been released.
“He was taken into custody without incident,” says Pittsburgh Police Lt. Jason Lando.
“I had absolutely no idea that this gun was loaded,” Thorp said. “It never, never, never should have been loaded, and that was the stupid part.”
The man accused of accidentally shooting Mary is now in police custody charged with reckless endangerment.
Mary was in surgery this morning at Children’s Hospital. We understand that all went well.