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MERCED — A 5-year-old Merced girl was accidentally shot and killed by a juvenile member of her family and the girl’s father was arrested for child endangerment, police said.

When officers arrived at the hospital they saw the girl’s father, Rodney Matthews, leaving and tried to stop him but he refused to pull over and a high-speed pursuit ensued.

Officers responded to a report of a gunshot heard inside a home Thursday and found evidence of a shooting, the Merced Police Department said in a statement.

They also received a report that a child with a gunshot wound was being dropped off at Mercy Medical Center Merced.

High Speed Pursuit of Girl’s Father

When officers arrived at the hospital they saw the girl’s father, Rodney Matthews, leaving and tried to stop him but he refused to pull over and a high-speed pursuit ensued.

Matthews, 44, eventually stopped and was taken into custody, police said.

Matthews was arrested and booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment resulting in the death of a child, felony reckless driving while evading officers, and being prohibited person in possession of firearms and ammunition, police said.

Police did not say the age or gender of the family member who shot the girl.

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