By Victoria Cavaliere
(Reuters) - A nine-month-old baby was shot and severely wounded on Sunday by her father, who told New York City police his gun accidentally discharged while he was cleaning it.
Police in Brooklyn responded to a 911 call on Saturday afternoon and found the baby girl with a gunshot wound to her lower left abdomen, a spokeswoman from the New York City Police Department said.
The baby was struck by a bullet from a .45 caliber handgun that had been obtained illegally, the spokeswoman said. The baby was rushed to a nearby hospital for surgery, she said.
The child's father, Pedro Rosales, 47, told officers the gun accidentally discharged as he was cleaning it inside their apartment in Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood, striking his daughter.
He was arrested on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.
The baby's mother, Jessica Aguilar, 24, who was home during the incident, was also arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child, the police spokeswoman said.
It was unclear if the couple had attorneys or how they intended to plead to the charges at an arraignment this week.
The incident came a day after a 3-year-old boy in Washington state was shot in the mouth, apparently by a 4-year-old neighbor, as the two played in the wounded child's Lake Stevens home, local law enforcement officials said.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Frances Kerry)