GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A Glendale father arrested after accidentally shooting his 6-year-old daughter has made his initial court appearance, where a cash-only bond was set at $50,000.
The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. Thursday near 76th and Glendale avenues.
Police said that Eldon Mcinville, 26, was cleaning his shotgun but as he went to put it away, he tripped and the loaded gun went off.
"The parents are fully cooperating with us, but obviously they're very emotional and distraught about this whole situation as every parent should be," said Sgt. John Roth with the Glendale Police Department.
Glendale police said the girl was reportedly walking near her father resulting in the projectile striking her.
According to Mcinville's court documents, he told officers that he had recently purchased the shotgun and was cleaning it for the first time. He also said his daughter was in the room with him because he "was teaching her gun safety."
Mcinville was the one who called 911. He told the dispatcher his daughter's "intestines were visible."
Police said she was alert and asking questions when first responders arrived on the scene.
"They said she was the bravest, strongest girl they've ever seen. She was talking, she wasn't crying, she was asking questions as any 6-year-old would do and they airlifted her to a local Valley hospital in life-threatening condition," said Sgt. Roth.
The community wishes the best for her.
"Everything happens for a reason. All I can say is, God bless this young lady and hopefully she survives," said Julian Hernandez, who lives nearby.
Glendale police say this is a painful lesson about gun safety.
"Everybody needs to pay attention with guns and make sure there are no kids around when you're manipulating them in any way," Sgt. Roth said. "It's just a tragic lesson that many of us have heard. Guns just--they're mishandled for one reason or another and they have to strike something and tragically this little one was in the way."
Police said they found a second loaded shotgun in the closet of Mcinville's bedroom. It was not secured in any manner.
They also discovered "a loaded 357 Magnum revolver on a TV stand unsecured in close proximity to where the victim could gain access to the weapon."
Mcinville is facing charges of child abuse, causing serious physical injury, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Both carry mandatory prison time if he is convicted.
Should he post bond, he will be required to submit to electronic monitoring and will not be allowed to have any contact with his daughter.
Mcinville was visibly distraught as the Commissioner Jane McLaughlin, who described the circumstances of the shooting as "exceedingly reckless,' explained the conditions of his release.
"No contact with the alleged victim," McLaughlin said as Mcinville cried. "I know she's your daughter, but you may not have contact with her while the case is pending -- even if she contacts you first."
Mcinville asked the judge to reconsider the release conditions.
"My family, we're already penny-pinching everything," he said tearfully. "I just want to help my family. That's all I want to do."
McLaughlin advised him to speak to his court-appointed lawyer, explaining that the bond set was a fraction of what it would have been had the shooting been intentional rather than accidental.
"Ma'am, if there's any way ... please. My wife needs my help," he said.
Mcinville is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 6.
According to police, his daughter remains in the hospital, in critical condition, and will undergo multiple surgeries in the following days to further treat the injuries sustained.