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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