OREGON CITY, OR – Shayla Shonneker died after her mother’s live-in boyfriend, 32-year-old Joseph Wolters, accidentally shot her has he practiced holstering his loaded gun.
Oregon City police say 9-year-old Shayla Shonneker was playing in her backyard while Wolters was inside the home practicing with his firearm, having recently been hired as an armed security guard with an armored transport company.
As Wolters was holstering and un-holstering his loaded gun, it went off. Out of all the paths this bullet could have traversed, this one traveled through a wall of the home, and into Shonneker’s face 50 yards away.
A LifeFlight helicopter rushed Shonneker to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, where she died. Wolters, a decorated Iraq War veteran, cooperated with police during an interview with detectives. No word on if he will be facing criminal charges.
Gladstone School District Superintendent Bob Stewart said the district has activated its crisis-response team and has established a safe room for both adults and students at John Wetten Elementary School, where Shayla had been a student since kindergarten.