A 4-year-old girl in Rockwood, Tennessee, died after being shot in the chest on Sunday during an alleged firearm safety lesson. Breanna Gayle Devall Runions, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of Evangaline Gunter.
According to authorities, Runions claimed she was teaching the child firearm safety when she took out a 9 mm handgun, removed the magazine, and called Evangaline over. Runions then pressed the gun’s barrel against the child’s chest and pulled the trigger, as she told the police.
Runions’ girlfriend, Christina Daniels, stated that she witnessed Runions take out the gun and put it to Evangaline’s chest but did not see her pull the trigger. Another child present at the scene confirmed seeing Runions shoot Evangaline, with the bullet striking a glass bottle.
Prior to the shooting, Runions had allegedly punished Evangaline and the older girl. The punishment involved striking both girls with a sandal and making them stand in different corners of the bedroom.
After the incident, the woman drove Evangaline to a nearby Walmart to meet an ambulance, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has initiated an investigation, and law enforcement is conducting a criminal probe.
Runions waived her right to a bond hearing and is currently held at Roane County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.