HOBART, Ind. – An Indiana man accused of fatally shooting his 9-year-old daughter while showing his sons a handgun and telling them "not to ever play with it," appeared in court Wednesday.
Eric Hummel, 33, who faces multiple charges including reckless homicide and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, sobbed while calling 911 on June 10.
"I had my gun, and I pulled the trigger. I didn't realize there was a bullet in there, and I shot my daughter," Hummel is heard saying in 911 calls obtained by the Chicago Post-Tribune. "This can't be real"
His daughter, Olivia, died about 30 minutes later at a nearby hospital.
According to authorities, Hummel said he was showing his sons a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and told them "not to ever play with it because it can kill someone."
Court records obtained by the Post-Tribune say that Hummel pointed the gun at her when she walked into the room and pulled the trigger “thinking it was empty.”
The coroner’s office said that Olivia was shot about 2-3 feet away in the upper forehead.
The 911 dispatcher ordered him to attempt CPR on the girl until paramedics arrived.
Hummel’s attorney told the Post-Tribune that Hummel is "absolutely devastated" and "the idea that Eric knowingly endangered any of his children is ridiculous."
"Anyone who knows him knows he loves his kids more than anything in the world and would never do anything to hurt them," his attorney Paul Stracci said.
Hobart Police Chief Richard W. Zormier, however, refused to consider it a tragic accident while addressing the media earlier this month, according to the NWI Times:
"I believe this was a series of heinous and depraved acts committed by the suspect on June 10. His actions that day endangered the lives of all three children and ultimately stole the life of Olivia, an innocent 9-year-old girl. His actions caused the death of Olivia and likely scarred the boys emotionally for life."
Stracci says Hummel plans to plead not guilty. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 24.