Man was trying to disassemble gun when bullet struck toddler, authorities say

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RAMONA, Calif. – A 2-year-old girl was struck in the leg with a bullet Sunday in Ramona as her mother’s boyfriend was attempting to disassemble an illegally possessed gun and pulled the trigger, authorities said.

The child’s 20-year-old mother Victoria Tejada and her 18-year-old boyfriend Roman Estrada were arrested after the incident and face charges of child neglect and child endangerment with Estrada also facing a charge for negligently discharging a firearm, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Daniel Vengler said in a news release.

Neither attempted to call for emergency medical assistance after the shooting that happened about 10 a.m. in the 24000 block of Sargeant Road, Vengler said.

Investigators say they drove the young girl to a clinic in Ramona that was closed before taking her to Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center in Santee. According to Vengler, Estrada hid the “still-loaded gun” in some bushes outside of the hospital while Tejada was with her daughter.

The child later was transported by ambulance to Rady Children’s Hospital where the bullet was removed. She is expected to make a full recovery, Vengler said, and is being cared for by Child Protective Services.

Authorities say the weapon was recovered after Estrada told them where it was. He was booked Sunday into San Diego Central Jail and remains in custody on $100,000 bail.

Tejeda was jailed Sunday at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee and since released after posting bail.

The shooting remains under investigation, Vengler said.

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