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Daughter Dies After Playing With Father’s Pistol

May 27, 1996

DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (AP) _ The 3-year-old daughter of two Washington, D.C., police officers died after shooting herself in the head while playing with her father’s service pistol, police said today.

Police in Prince George’s County, Md., said Courtney Rusnak climbed on furniture to reach the gun while left in a room by herself at home. The gun, a Glock semiautomatic pistol, belongs to her father, Officer George Rusnak, 35, who joined the force in 1989.

``It looks like she found the gun and started playing with it,″ said police spokesman Mark Polk. ``The gun was fired once, and she was hit directly in the head.″

Both Rusnak and his wife, also a District of Columbia police officer, were home at the time of the incident. The mother’s name was not released.

The girl was flown to Children’s Hospital in the district and was pronounced dead Sunday night, a hospital spokesman said.

Polk said police are investigating, but he said the shooting appeared to be ``a tragic accident.″

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