Wis. girl, 8, killed by father during alleged gun safety demonstration

The Milwaukee Police Department was alerted to the shooting by staffers at the hospital where the girl died

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The father of an 8-year-old girl in Wisconsin has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide after fatally shooting his daughter while “showing off” his weapon to a group of kids.

Michael Anthony Huddleston shot his daughter Tiana Huddleston in the chest during the gun safety demonstration on Sunday afternoon, according to PEOPLE. Several of the girl’s siblings were home during the incident. Huddleston allegedly told police his daughter was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he fired his gun inadvertently while trying to teach his kids about gun safety. 

Michael Anthony Huddleston Wisconsin thegrio.com
Michael Anthony Huddleston has been charged with first-degree in the death of daughter Tiana Huddleston (Credit: MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, YouTube screenshot/Huddleston family)

The girl’s 18-year-old brother reportedly called 911 while Huddleston rushed Tiana to the hospital, where she died. 

“The suspect was handling a firearm that discharged,” the criminal complaint states. “The gunfire subsequently struck an 8-year-old girl. The victim arrived at a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.”

The Milwaukee Police Department was alerted to the shooting by staffers at the hospital. According to the criminal complaint, Huddleston described the incident as a “mistake,” as he believed the gun was unloaded and that the safety was on. 

After doctors informed him that his daughter died, Huddleston allegedly said “I can’t believe this [expletive] happened … I killed my own [expletive] daughter.” He then repeatedly told officers to take him to jail.

Per the complaint, Huddleston said he “shouldn’t have tried to do no extra in front of the kids” and “I did it … I didn’t try to, big mistake,” per WITI. He allegedly admitted to police he had been drinking tequila prior to the killing.  

“You took a light out of this world,” LaToya Singleton, Tiana’s aunt, told WITI. “We’re dim, we’re dark.”

In addition to reckless homicide, Huddleston was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, the Associated Press reported. 

“I wish that the gun was facing toward him. If it’s going to be an accident, why not it be you? He’s a felon. Where’d (he) even get (the gun) from?” said Singleton

“We’re very family oriented, playing games,” she said. “This just changed the whole dynamic of our family.”

“You should’ve been more smarter as a parent with my nieces and nephews. I’m speechless. You took our heart,” Latarra Traylor, the victim’s aunt, said.

Huddleston and Tiana’s mother have been together for nearly two decades.

“She loved him. It don’t go away, but my sister is furious, like you took my kid out of this world,” said Singleton.

Tiana Huddleston thegrio.com
Tiana Huddleston (Credit: GoFundMe)

Singleton has launched a GoFundMe to help with Tiana’s burial costs. “On January 15, 2022 my niece Tiana was shot and killed by her father, while in the comfort of her own home,” a message on the campaign page reads. “My sister Marquita Traylor was at Children’s Hospital at the time Tiana was shot, picking up medicine for one of her other children. Our family is in desperate need of funeral cost, food, and any other items that can be donated.”

Tiana would have celebrated her 9th birthday on February 16, according to the campaign page. 

“Our family is devastated and overwhelmed at this time. We would greatly appreciate any help that can be provided. The money would go towards Tiana’s funeral expenses, clothing for her siblings, food, and a place the family can gather after her services,” the campaign states.

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