4-year-old fatally shoots herself searching through grandma’s bag

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A father driving to pick up his 4-year-old daughter to take her swimming last week was met with the horrifying sight of police lights when he arrived.

Yanelly Zoller, 4, was staying with her grandparents, Michael and Christie Zoller, in North Tampa. The little girl died in a tragic accident Thursday, Sep. 14, when she was digging through her grandmother’s purse looking for candy and found a loaded gun instead. She was shot in the chest and killed when she accidentally pulled the trigger.

Shane Zoller, 22, was on his way to pick up his daughter. “I was driving to pick her up with her bathing suit in my car to take her to the splash pads,” Zoller said. “When I pulled up, that’s when I saw all the police lights.”

The Tampa Bay Times reported that police are investigating the incident, but have said they have no reason to doubt the details of the story they were given.

Shane Zoller said he became a father for the first time when he was still in high school and credited his parents with helping him with ‘Nelly’ so that he did not have to drop out.

“She was extremely close to them and would get so excited when she got to stay at her nana’s house,” he said. “She was attached to her nana’s hip.”

Zoller also has one other child, and another on the way. He said he shared custody of Nelly with her mother.

“She loved to help daddy work on the car. She would hand me tools. But she also really liked doing her makeup,” Zoller said.

Two fundraising pages have been set up on GoFundMe and You Caring to help the family with funeral costs.

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