Cornelius mother accidentally shot, killed after children find gun in purse, police say

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Police said a mother is dead after her children found a gun inside her purse and accidentally shot her Monday inside their home in Cornelius.

Officers responded around 6:55 p.m. to reports of a shooting at Cornelius Village Apartments on Meridian Street off Catawba Avenue.

When they got there, police said they found 25-year-old Gabriel Alexis Henderson dead in the back bedroom of her apartment with a small semi-automatic handgun on the bed next to her.

After speaking with witnesses, investigators determined that the only people inside the apartment at the time of the shooting were Henderson and her five children.

Detectives said four of the children were in the room with their mother at the time of the shooting.

Investigators believe one of the kids found the gun inside their mom’s purse and somehow the gun went off, killing Henderson and injuring her youngest child.

The child was taken by MEDIC to Atrium Main in Charlotte but is expected to be OK.

The oldest child was in the living room, away from the others when the shooting occurred, police said.

Neighbors told Channel 9 that Henderson will be missed. They said she was a loving mother who always looked out for all the children in the community.

“She was awesome, she was helpful to everybody. She helped me a lot because I have children so she always looked out for my kids when I needed her when I was working,” one resident said. “She was just really a good mom. She worked really hard to be the best that she could be.”

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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