Girl, 3, in critical condition after being accidentally shot by boy, 5, with man arrested for child abuse

The boyfriend of the victim's mother was arrested for child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury after the gun was left unattended

A female toddler has been critically injured after being accidentally shot by a five-year-old boy, resulting in the boyfriend of the victim’s mother arrested for child abuse.

The three-year-old girl, from the city of Pueblo in Colorado, was airlifted to hospital and is said to be in a stable but critical condition after the bullet went through her without breaking any bones.

She was shot yesterday at around 10am after the young boy acquired the loaded gun from another boy, 9.

The nine-year-old had gone out into the garden with the other children after getting hold of the pistol.

The handgun “was then handled by the five-year-old who pointed it at the three-year-old and pulled the trigger,” the local police department has said.

Pueblo Police added: “When the nine-year-old was asked how he was able to manipulate the handgun, he said he learned it from video games like Black Ops.”

Both the unnamed mother of the girl and her boyfriend, Adrian Chavez, 22, were at home at the time of the shooting.

Chavez, who had a warrant for his arrest from an unrelated case, fled the scene but was arrested and taken into custody at 3.15pm.

He was charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury after the gun was left unattended.

The two boys will not be charged due to their age, police said.

The girl was responsive when officers arrived but did have to undergo surgery.