8-Year-Old Oak Ridge Girl Shot in The Head

Oak Ridge, Anderson County (WVLT) - Oak Ridge Police are investigating an early morning shooting that sends an eight year old to the hospital.

Eight-year-old Taila Kneiser's condition has not improved since the early morning shooting.

She's still listed at UT Medical Center as critical.

Neighbors in the eastern Oak Ridge community say the family just moved in there a couple months ago, and many just can't understand how this happened.

"We were talking about the vehicles that were there this morning, because the couple was separated,” Neighbor Brenda Mathes says she never heard a gunshot go off early Tuesday morning on Cedar Road, but she can't imagine what eight-year-old Taila Kneiser's parents are going through right now. "I'm sure they're heartbroken, you know, that the child is seriously ill, injured from it, and could possibly not make it."

Oak Ridge Police Chief David Beams says Taila's mother called 911 after the eight year old was shot in the head. "She was treated at the scene by paramedics and firefighters and transferred to UT Hospital. I would just say she's in very critical condition. Anytime you suffer a gunshot wound to the head, it's never good."

Chief Beams says right now they believe the shooting was accidental, but it's not clear who pulled the trigger. "We have no reason to believe that it was an outside person, or an intruder, or anything like that."

Beams says the only other people in the house at the time were Taila's four-year-old brother and her mother.

"The family was up late and that's part of our investigation,” says Chief Beams.

"I guess maybe the children could, they could have been playing with guns or something?" Mathes says.

If that's the case, Mathes says this never should have happened. "You shouldn't have a loaded gun laying around for a child, because guns don't kill people or injure them, you know, people's ignorance does."

Oak Ridge Police still have a lot of unanswered questions to figure out; they say they have more interviews to conduct.


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  • by Kayla Location: Knoxville on Jan 15, 2009 at 09:18 PM
    i was really good friends with Taila, that week before she had come over to my house with Zane, i still think about this all the time and i love her and miss her so much.
  • by Anonymous Location: knoxville on Jul 29, 2007 at 11:42 AM
    my pray goes out to the family but they should have never had a loaded gun in the house with kids this is what happen when you have a loaded gun...they need to ban everyone from owning a gun..we need to help pretect our kids bye banding anyone from owning a gun we need to pretect want is very preciousto everyone???? our babies
  • by Becky Location: Oliver Springs on Jul 26, 2007 at 02:53 PM
    I can't understand why this young child was even near a loaded gun. I pray the the Good Lord above is watching over her and that she will survuve this horrible accident. There are way too many young children getting hurt or killed from guns and it is a parents place to protect their kids so that something like this doesn't happen.
  • by Homer Location: Knoxville on Jul 26, 2007 at 12:49 AM
    Respectfully,you are reporting,as of 11pm on Wednesday, that the girl is still alive and in critical condition. WBIR reported on the 6 oclock news that she had died. Why are 2 different stations reporting 2 different conditions? Your station gives us hope that she may make it, and WBIR takes that hope away. Which one is it, is she deceased or still alive?
  • by kayla and taylor Location: Farragut on Jul 25, 2007 at 11:58 PM
    taila.... me and taylor love you so much. we wish this wouldnt of happend to you. we pray for you ever night. we have all out friends praying for you. we all love you. you are in a better place now.
  • by Liz Location: Daytona Beach, Florida on Jul 25, 2007 at 07:20 PM
    I would be looking to who the mother was dating. It sounds to me like there was something else going on at that time of the morning.
  • by tina Location: sevierville on Jul 25, 2007 at 10:35 AM
    my heart and prayers go out to this family
  • by Anonymous on Jul 24, 2007 at 09:05 PM
    My heart and prayers go out to this family. But what bothers me, is that this is a situation that could have been avoided. This sweet child should be out laughing and playing right now.
  • by Kathy Location: Farragut on Jul 24, 2007 at 05:55 PM
    God Bless You Taila Kneiser We love you The Valdivias' are praying for you.
  • by tommy Location: knoxville on Jul 24, 2007 at 02:09 PM
    i think if you have a gun in the house it is up to you to keep it away from kids . we do need to pray for her
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