No charges for Madera deputy whose daughter shot sibling

A Madera County sheriff’s lieutenant will not be charged in connection with a February 2015 incident in which his 10-year-old daughter shot her younger sister with the deputy’s firearm.

Fresno County Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright said this week that evidence in the case involving Lt. Patrick Majeski did not meet “elements of a crime.” The incident occurred in February of 2015. Charges in such a case can be filed up to three years after the event, Wright said at the time.

The shooting took place in a home in Fresno near Bullard and Cornelia avenues, where the deputy lived. Lt. Joe Gomez, then the spokesman for the Fresno Police Department, said responding officers found the 8-year-old with a gunshot wound to her torso. She was talking and in stable condition after she was taken to Community Regional Medical Center.

Gomez said the shooting occurred as the girls’ father was getting ready for work and put his handgun on the bed in his bedroom while he was in the bathroom. The magazine was removed from the weapon, but there was a round in the chamber. The 10-year-old grabbed the gun, “manipulated it” and the round discharged, striking the younger girl. The lieutenant immediately called 911 for an ambulance and also notified police.

Some semi-automatic pistols are designed not to fire when the magazine is removed from the weapon. Others, like the one involved in the incident, will fire. The day of the incident, Madera Sheriff Jay Varney said the gun involved was the deputy’s service weapon.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the district attorney’s decision.