Mother Mistakes Small Gun for Cigarette Lighter

Rachel Avila, 30, of Banning, thought the .22-caliber North American Arms “derringer style” revolver was a cigarette lighter, police said. She pulled the trigger twice, the second time the gun fired, and the round ricocheted off the ground.

A 12-year-old girl was wounded by a ricocheting bullet Sunday evening in Banning, when her mother fired a tiny pistol she mistook for a cigarette lighter, police said.

Banning police described the incident as an accidental shooting. A photo of the revolver was released Wednesday by Banning police.

A “juvenile gunshot victim” was reported about 5:40 p.m. Sunday and officers responded to the emergency room at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning police said in a statement.

Rachel Avila, 30, told police she and her 12-year-old daughter, both of Banning, were talking with friends in front of their mobile home in the 100 block of North Phillips Avenue when Avila found what she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter, police said.

The lighter resembled a miniature firearm and it was lying on the ground, Avila told police.

Avila picked it up and tried to light it by pulling the trigger, police said.

The first time Avila pulled the trigger, nothing happened. The second time she pulled the trigger, a .22-caliber bullet was fired, police said.

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2 thoughts on “Mother Mistakes Small Gun for Cigarette Lighter

  1. That sounds like the .22 Derringer revolver that I had – it fits very easily in the middle of your palm, BUT it’s a revolver. How can you get that confused with a lighter? I have gun lighters…wouldn’t think anyone would think the Derringer was a lighter. Darwin award.

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