Updated to reflect new information from Fairbanks Police Department.

FAIRBANKS — A 12-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the leg by her father on Monday afternoon while she was at a physical therapy appointment, Fairbanks police said. 

Officer Doug Welborn said the father was carrying a .40-caliber pistol in a holster on his belt when he and his daughter were going to appointments at Adient Physical Therapy in the Medical Dental Arts building on Lathrop Street.

Before his treatment began, the man decided to remove his gun from its holster. While he was transferring it to his jacket pocket, the gun discharged, police say.

The bullet entered and exited the man’s forearm, grazed his daughter’s right thigh and then entered her left thigh, Welborn said.

The girl’s mother, Sara Moisan, said her daughter’s father called her from the hospital to tell her what happened. Her daughter underwent surgery on both legs and was discharged from the hospital Tuesday morning. 

Moisan said even though they “don’t have the best working relationship,” she bears her daughter’s father no ill will. 

“This was a complete accident, there was no malice,” Moisan said. “I want what is best for my daughter. I do have my “Mama Bear” moments, but I don’t live with hate in my heart.”

Moisan and her mother, Linda Clark, said the girl’s father is a correctional officer at Fairbanks Correctional Center. 

The man’s name was not given in the police incident report. Officer Welborn said, “investigators responded and interviewed all parties involved and the case has been referred to prosecutor’s office for one count of reckless endangerment. The case has gone over but we haven’t sent a criminal complaint yet.”

Moisan said her daughter had been undergoing physical therapy to strengthen her thigh muscles after spraining her knee doing gymnastics. She had planned to try out for the volleyball team at her middle school but that will have to wait until next year. 

Her daughter is “doing better” but is still in a lot of pain, Moisan said. She hopes to return to school next week and for now is trying to deal with the different emotions brought on by the accident. 

“She doesn’t hate her daddy, but she’s going to need to work through some things as time goes by. I know he’s going to be right there helping her. We all are,” Moisan said. 

Contact Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FDNMcrime.

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