Family mourns loss of 7 year old girl - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Family mourns loss of 7 year old girl

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7 year old Karlee Byler 7 year old Karlee Byler
Byler Family Byler Family

We now know the name of the victim in an accidental shooting Friday night in Goshen.

A family spokesperson confirms 7 year old Karlee Byler was shot in the head and killed Friday evening after her father's handgun fell out of his coat pocket and discharged as it hit the floor.

Karlee was described as mischievous and adventurous with an infectious laugh.

"A lot of shock and sobbing happened last night. Today, obviously, they have some things to deal with to keep the process moving with Karlee's body and the situation. They have a great support system but it's going to be a long process," said family spokesperson Monica Chupp.

Karlee leaves behind her parents Jay and Kelly, and her older sister Brooklyn.

Police have ruled the death an accident.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The following is the statement from the family spokesperson:

In talking with family and friends, the words "smiley" and "hugs" were repeated many times as they reminisced about the wonderful seven years they had with Karlee Byler. The young girl was tragically accidentally killed in her home Friday night.

Her father, Jay Byler, returned home from work Friday evening and placed his handgun in his coat pocket to carry it into the house. His wife, Kelly, and their two daughters, Karlee and Brooklyn (age 10) were outside playing in the snow. Jay joined them for about 20 minutes. When they went inside, Jay was helping the girls with their boots when the gun fell out of his pocket and discharged. Karlee was killed.

Karlee was called by friends the "ornery angel." The same personality as her dad, she loved to clown around, was adventurous and had an infectious laugh. Karlee loved stuffed animals and her Nintendo DS. One friend recounted a story of having the Byler's over for 4-wheel rides around their pond. Karlee's screams of delight could be heard during her entire ride around the pond. She was innocently mischievous and greeted everyone with a hug. The Byler's are a close loving family and are struggling with the loss of her daughter but find comfort in knowing she is home with her heavenly Father.

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