MERCED (CBS SF/AP) — Merced Police arrested the father of a 5-year-old girl for child endangerment after she was accidentally shot and killed by a juvenile member of her family, police said.

Officers responded to a report of a gunshot heard inside a home in Merced around 2:27 p.m. Thursday and found evidence of a shooting, the Merced Police Department said in a statement.

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They also received a report that a child with a gunshot wound was being dropped off at Mercy Medical Center Merced.

When officers arrived at the hospital they saw the girl’s father, Rodney Matthews, leaving and tried to stop him but he refused to pull over and a high-speed pursuit ensued.

Matthews, 44, eventually stopped and was taken into custody, police said.

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Matthews was arrested and booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment resulting in the death of a child, felony reckless driving while evading officers, and being prohibited person in possession of firearms and ammunition, police said.

Officers later said they believed Matthews’ daughter was accidentally shot by a boy who also lived in the home who police said was Matthews’ son. Police did not release the boy’s age by press time.

Police asked that anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Detective Sergeant Solis at 209-385-4703 or by email at

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