3-year-old girl dies in Chandler shooting

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Eric Sands, 33. (3 July 2017) [Source: Maricopa County Sheriff Dept.] Eric Sands, 33. (3 July 2017) [Source: Maricopa County Sheriff Dept.]

The father of a 3-year-old girl in Chandler who died after being shot last week has made an initial court appearance.

The shooting was reported around 8 p.m. Thursday in the 700 block of W. Ivanhoe Street, according to the Chandler Police Department.

Eric Sands, 33, was taken into custody on unrelated charges after the incident. According to Chandler police, "Sands was arrested and is currently being held on a prohibited possessor charge and possession of dangerous drugs charge."

Chandler police say the weapon involved was a shotgun and that it was unclear whether the child or Sands had touched the trigger.

Det. Seth Tyler said the child's mother had called 911 after the gun had gone off while Sands was in another room with his daughter.  The child's identity has been confirmed as Brooke Sands.  Police say she had been shot in the abdomen and later died from the injury.

The couple shares a second child who was also in the house when the shooting occurred.  

Court documents indicate Sands made conflicting statements to police when first questioned about the shooting.

He [Eric] made an initial statement that he was clearing the shotgun and his daughter bumped into him.  Shortly after this, he reportedly made a contradictory statement that he had actually set the shotgun on the bed.  

According to the same court documents, police searched the home and found methamphetamine as well as two loaded 45 caliber pistol magazines hidden in a book designed to conceal items. 

Sands was convicted of felony theft in 2003. According to police, he had not gone through the process to restore his right to own a weapon.

The investigation into the shooting is continuing.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.