Police officer's daughter kills self with gun


Nathaniel Firethorn
January 29, 2003, 06:07 PM

Police officer's daughter accidentally kills self with revolver

Wednesday, January 29, 2003 Posted: 4:55 PM EST (2155 GMT)
HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A Houston police officer's 7-year-old daughter found a revolver in a bedroom of her home and accidentally shot herself to death, authorities said.

Dovie Caroline Hill fired the weapon into her head Monday while her 13-year-old sister was babysitting her and three siblings, police said. The child died at a hospital.

Two loaded revolvers and an unloaded rifle were found in the bedroom, police said.

The guns "were not secured," Deer Park police Lt. Omar G. Akmal said.

The girl's father, 39-year-old Glen Forrest Hill, who has worked for the Houston Police Department for nearly 20 years, was at a second job at the time of the shooting. The whereabouts of the mother, Terri Lynn Hill, at the time were unknown.

Akmal said the case will be referred to county prosecutors.While this is clearly a tragedy, it is also rock-solid evidence that the police exemption on PRNJ's "smart" gun law must be removed.

After all, if the life of even one child could be saved...

- pdmoderator

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January 29, 2003, 06:13 PM
Dovie Caroline Hill fired the weapon into her head Monday while her 13-year-old sister was babysitting her and three siblings, police said. The child died at a hospital.

Oh yeah ... ? Where does a seven year old learn to do that? How does a seven year old have the strength to pull the double action trigger on a revolver?

I think there's more to it ....

January 29, 2003, 06:15 PM
Police are just like everybody else. They need specific training, and so do their kids.

:( :( :( :(

January 29, 2003, 06:28 PM
My son lost a classmate in kindergarten when the child found his grandmother's revolver. Tragic accidents happen, that's why it's so important to secure all firearms if kids are going to be in the house w/ them.

January 29, 2003, 06:32 PM
Very sad. Highlights the need to stay vigilant and use best practices at all times...


J Miller
January 29, 2003, 06:35 PM
It saddens me everytime I hear of a child killing him/her self with a parants gun. Always the article plays it up to be the parants fault. Well, it is. But not to the extent that the parant should be procecuted.
This officer will punish himself worse every day of the rest of his life more than any procecuter ever could. And so will his wife.
If guns are to remain loaded, mine were when I had kids, put an external locking door set on the bedroom door.
I did. And it saved my stepsons butts once. (A long story.)
All guns were kept in my bedroom. When we left the house the door was kept locked. No problems.
It is still very sad to read these reports.

January 29, 2003, 06:38 PM
Bad gun storage. Bad "baby sitter" (older sister). A 7-year-old child and 13-year-old teenager both ignorant of gun safety. If it wasn't an accident, then there was also a suicidal or homicidal person in the house at the time.

What else do you need for a disaster?

January 29, 2003, 06:39 PM
Either my guns are on me or locked up.
Seems some people learn that lesson by losing their child. :( :(

I pray for the family.

rock jock
January 29, 2003, 06:44 PM

We're taling about a 7 year old, not a 2 year old. Kids at that age are plenty strong enough to pull a 12-lb DA trigger.

January 29, 2003, 06:47 PM

January 29, 2003, 06:52 PM
out of respect, perhaps we could not argue about trigger weights and crap...

Prayers to this family.


January 29, 2003, 07:07 PM
I will keep that poor little baby in my thoughts and in my prayers. I can't imagine the pain that her father is going through right now. It is truly a tragedy.:(

January 29, 2003, 07:10 PM
a 13 year old should not be in charge of 4 other kids for any length of time. That is just to many.

January 29, 2003, 07:18 PM
The only weapon in my house that's not locked up tight is the one in my pocket.

January 29, 2003, 07:50 PM
Ack, I thought it was the cop-

*note to self* read post next time

My apoligies

January 29, 2003, 08:14 PM
My remarks retracted. It did seem out of character for you, sorry to jump your back.

Kahr carrier
January 29, 2003, 08:44 PM
Thats heart breaking , It wasnt the baby sitters fault, it was her dads for not securing his weapons. Unfortunatly she paid the price and he will have to live with it the rest of his life. :(

Duke of Lawnchair
January 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Darwinism at work?

Classy, very classy. :rolleyes:


January 29, 2003, 08:53 PM
The trouble is that every SINGLE time one of these things happen, the gun grabbers are out in force looking for more common sense gun legislation, be it for mandatory child safety locks and safe access laws, and other sorts of gun legislation.

Its not like all of us are married, or have kids, and such. But now, I have to pony up an addition $20 for a **********-approved trigger lock, or some such B.S.

If I were in the dad's shoes, I would world-proof my kids first. That means, little Janey does not go into Mom and Dad's room unless Mom or Dad was at home. Little Janey will also know not to touch Dad's toys, or little Janey will get to play with Dad's pingpong paddle too. :rolleyes:

January 29, 2003, 08:54 PM
"Darwinism at work?"

A--wipe'ism at work?

Ummm, retracted... My appologies for the language.


January 29, 2003, 09:09 PM
Poking fun of the death of a child is not the High Road.

Calling other members "bleepwipes" is also not the High Road.

January 29, 2003, 10:15 PM
Sorry about the mispost!
Sometimes, I deserve to be slapped- Hope you guys can understand :-p


Kahr carrier
January 29, 2003, 10:29 PM
No sweat.:D

Duke of Lawnchair
January 29, 2003, 11:00 PM

Honest mistake.

I retracted my comment made earlier. However, if anyone's gonna say it, I'll leave it up there as a pre-emptive strike!


January 29, 2003, 11:04 PM
I edited mine also. I too have made a similar mispost, but not in a thread as sensitive as one involving a childs death.

Take care,

January 30, 2003, 10:07 AM
I didn't mean to sound callous ... after all, I have kids too (and I have lost one so I know what that's like)

But ... it just doesn't make sense to me that a normal 7 year old, upon finding Daddy's loaded gun, would turn it on her own self and pull a heavy double action trigger.

If I were the cop investigating this, I would be looking deeper ... WAY deeper. That's all I meant to say.

Carlos Cabeza
January 30, 2003, 10:43 AM
While this news really tears the threadwork of my soul, I cannot understand the overall inability of parents to provide even basic knowledge of firearm safety to children. The tremendous report alone will deter most kids from even touching it. If a parent is going to have a gun in the house, they should at least take the kids to the range to let them WATCH and observe the parent. Perhaps, a demonstration of hunting a rabbit

I feel sorry for the family and for the LEO.

Felonious Monk
January 30, 2003, 10:47 AM
Lord, please comfort that family... :(

Talk about a bowling ball in the pit of my stomach. :what:
My 7yr old daughter is HIGHLY curious (and ADHD to boot);
My 13 yr old daughter often babysits her brother and sister.

And while they are fairly new to the concept of having guns in the house (1 year or so), they KNOW from memory the 4 rules.
I also am going to do the exercise that I saw somebody on this forum do, leave an EMPTY gun nonchalantly in their rooms somewhere and, when they bring them to my attention (WITHOUT touching 'em), give 'em a big hug, and a trip to Baskin-Robbins for icecream.

And I'll probably hug all 3 of them a little closer when I get home today, and double check the lock on my gunsafe.

SO sad that a 20 year LEO veteran had gotten too comfortable with the tools of his job, and now it cost him the life of his little girl.

January 30, 2003, 12:31 PM
NRA Eddie Eagle program has no merit.......chris3

January 30, 2003, 12:51 PM
But ... it just doesn't make sense to me that a normal 7 year old, upon finding Daddy's loaded gun, would turn it on her own self and pull a heavy double action trigger.

I don't know what happened to cause this tragedy, but a friend who works as a forensics expert told me something several years ago that I've never forgotten. Small children who have seen a gun used on TV or wherever know that the trigger is meant to be moved to the rear. When the trigger pull is heavy they will sometimes get engrossed in trying to make it work. One obvious way to do that is to put the butt against something solid, like the floor, wrap both hands around the gun, put both thumbs on the trigger, and push. Unfortunately, when they do that the gun is pointed right at their head. My friend was using it as an example of why really heavy triggers are not necessarily as safe as they might seem.

My heart goes out to that poor family. None of them will ever be the same. So sad.

January 30, 2003, 12:57 PM
This brings out a pet peeve of mine and that is parenting, while I do not say this is the problem in this case it seems to be part of our modern society. As I grew up in the 40/50’s in a home with guns, a loaded smith (32/20) set on top of the icebox
(refrigerator) all the children knew not to touch it, I still remember my father
unloading the smith and letting me “play” with it, but I knew once put away that was it. My own children now grown were taught the same, however one modern adjustment was to lock up guns when there friends came over.

My point in this is, rather then take the easy way out, locked guns, laws, lawsuits, parents need to spend more time with there children, train, educate, love and kindness will go a lot further then putting someone in jail after the fact. Our new media run world dictates parents (both) spend 40-60 hours per week working so they can buy family cell phones to stay in contact while they all go in different directions. My feeling is if you can’t afford to stay home with them, or daycare is required at birth then do both you and children a favor don’t produce.
Sorry for preaching but I hate it when children die needlessly.

January 30, 2003, 04:00 PM
I have to agree with wingman.

My wife always stayed home with the kids instead of working, and I think it has made a difference. But we paid a high financial penalty for a long time for doing so.

January 30, 2003, 04:53 PM
Actually, a study on this very subject was undertaken by researchers a few years ago. A room full of kids and a double action revolver.....unloaded, of course. Invariably, the children would end up turning the revolver upside down and pointing at themselves while using both thumbs to press the trigger. Children are naturally inquisitive. Don't ever think they won't find a way.

January 30, 2003, 05:56 PM
Thats it the last straw Ban all cops from having guns. :D And while were at it the military too. I am sure that somewere someone in the military has killed someone without cause or let a gun in there control "accidently" kill someone. Makes just as much sense to me as keeping citizens from owning guns.

January 30, 2003, 10:12 PM
There are times to make cute, snide, sarcastic remarks, and then there are not.

This is an "are not" time, imo.


Wishing the family... I don't know what, as I cannot comprehend what might ease their pain.

rock jock
January 31, 2003, 12:09 AM
But ... it just doesn't make sense to me that a normal 7 year old, upon finding Daddy's loaded gun, would turn it on her own self and pull a heavy double action trigger.
Yeah, i agree. OTOH, never underestimate the resourcefulness or curiosity of a child.

January 31, 2003, 01:44 PM
Very sad. Lots of mistakes here, many made by one 'who should know better'. Kids will be kids, and another example of the fact that you can't legislate common sense,:uhoh:

January 31, 2003, 01:46 PM
Either my guns are on me or locked up.
Ditto here.

Also, the only youngsters allowed free access to our home are systematically educated and trained in the safe handling of all firearms in the house (which are never left unattended or unsecured).

The possible consequences of not following the above practices are just too horrible to contemplate.

February 1, 2003, 02:08 PM
Tragic story should serve as example
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
DOVIE HILL is dead.

She shot herself in the head with a gun she found at home.

It should not have happened. Guns should be locked in cabinets. They should have trigger locks. They shouldn't be loaded. Kids should not have access to them.

Dovie Hill was just 7 years old. She leaves a 2-year-old brother, a 5-year-old brother, a 9-year-old brother, and a 13-year-old sister. They all were at home when it happened. A houseful of kids with unsecured, loaded guns.

She leaves her mother, Terri Lynn Hill, 40, and her father, Glen Forrest Hill, 39, who has been a police officer for almost 20 years.

Cops know a great deal about guns. They live with guns. Guns are the main tools of their job. They have them in their cars and carry them strapped to their bodies. They use them as necessary to defend themselves and others or to gain control of violent or potentially violent situations.

Girl's father knew best
Dovie's father knows even more about guns than most police officers. He knows how it feels to be shot in the head.

It happened to him one Saturday years ago when he was off-duty, but still in uniform, and stopped to get a bite to eat at a Jack-in-the-Box on Telephone Road. He walked in on a robbery in progress. Two men, one with a knife and one with a pistol. The one with the revolver pointed it at Hill and fired.

The bullet grazed the back of Hill's head but didn't stop him from giving chase when the two men fled from the business. He followed them into an apartment complex where they managed to lose him. Then he was treated at Hermann Hospital and released.

That occurred in April 1990, back when Dovie's oldest sister was just a baby. Now 13, she was left in charge Monday night when mom was out and dad was working a second job.

It was 8:15 when Dovie pulled the trigger. She was taken by helicopter to the same hospital where her father had gone when he'd been shot. But her head wound proved fatal less than an hour after the shooting.

A police spokesman in Houston, where Officer Hill works, said Thursday that an Internal Affairs investigation is under way to determine whether Hill was responsible for the loaded and unsecured guns found in his house.

Police in Deer Park, where the Hill family lives, also are looking into the shooting. A sergeant there said he had no updates on that investigation.

Making a firearm accessible to a child is a Class A misdemeanor under Texas law "if the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury to himself or another person." Maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

But is this a case that calls for punitive justice? What good could come from heaping more punishment atop the sorrow of losing a child?

Rather than asking only whether a law was broken and how can we punish the guilty person, could we instead apply restorative justice methods and ask: What was the harm done? What can be done to repair the harm? Who should repair the harm?

Outcome punishment enough
The harm done is that a gun was left unsecured and Dovie Hill is dead. Nothing can be done to bring Dovie back. But spreading word of this tragedy could help to increase compliance with the law, keep unsecured guns away from other children and thus save other lives.

According to my research, some 38 percent of all U.S. households report having at least one gun. One in five of those gun owners keeps them unlocked and loaded. Almost 12 times more children under age 15 died from guns in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries.

Someone with the Children's Defense Fund noticed a few years ago that it was safer to be a working cop than a kid in the United States because more children under age 10 died from guns than law enforcement officers in the line of duty.

The person who is responsible for a tragedy that resulted from leaving loaded guns where children could get them could be most effective in warning others about what can happen.


February 1, 2003, 02:51 PM
I just finished unloading all my firearms
I can load them quickly enough if I need them (and before carrying them)
this hits way too close to home like 3 miles close
what a total tradgedy for everyone involved esp the Dad and Oldest Daughter :(

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