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Father Charged Over Illegal Gun After Three-Year-Old Shot Dead Inside Sydney Home

Police are investigating whether the girl may have accidentally shot herself.

28/08/2017 10:05 AM AEST | Updated 28/08/2017 3:15 PM AEST
Fairfax Media
Detectives and forensic services remained at the site of the shooting in Sydney's Lalor Park on Monday morning.

The father of a three-year-old girl who was fatally shot in the neck at her home in Sydney's west on Sunday evening has faced court for possessing an illegal firearm, and failing to store it safely.

Ali Mohammed Moussa, 43 -- who lives in Arncliffe, not Lalor Park where the girl was shot -- has been charged with possessing an unauthorised, unregistered firearm and for failing to keep a firearm safe.

He has also been charged with breaching an apprehended violence order.

It's believed the little girl was inside the family home with her mother and three young brothers, aged between three and eight, when she was shot with a sawn-off single-barrel shotgun at 8pm on Sunday evening.

The distraught mother of the young girl was heard screaming "rot in hell" and "I hate you" at a man, believed to be Moussa, as she was led into an ambulance outside the family home, Fairfax Media reports.

The man and the girl's uncle were reportedly not inside the house at the time of the shooting, police told the Daily Telegraph.

Moussa appeared in Blacktown Local Court over the charges on Monday. He did not apply for bail and bail was formally refused.

He is scheduled to appear in court again on Friday.

Neighbour Mark Tupua told reporters he ran to the house after hearing a loud bang, "but the door was locked".

The death of a three-year-old child under any circumstances is tragic. It is tragic for the family and it is tragic for the police and other emergency services who attend these scenes."

"The mother came out, she was really angry and she was just screaming," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I seen a guy leave the house, blood all over his hands."

Emergency services rushed to the house on Danny Road at around 8pm, following reports of what a caller described as a "domestic" incident. But paramedics were unable to save the girl, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

NSW Police Quakers Hill Commander, Superintendent Paul Carrett, confirmed that only one shot was fired.

He would not confirm media reports that the girl may have accidentally shot herself.

Superintendent Carrett described the incident as "extremely shocking" and urging all Australians to make sure their firearms are stored and handled safely.

"Our hearts go out to those who have been affected," he told reporters at a press conference on Monday morning.

"The death of a three-year-old child under any circumstances is tragic. It is tragic for the family and it is tragic for the police and other emergency services who attend these scenes."

Footage taken at the scene shows two men, believed to be the girl's father and uncle, sitting in the gutter, rocking and crying, outside the house while police investigated the scene.

Forensic officers remain at the family home on Monday morning and police are questioning the girl's parents.

Another neighbour, Mel Toilalo, told the Daily Telegraph she initially thought the gunshot was a car crash because it was so loud.

"I ran outside... I saw a man on the floor, he was screaming 'she is dead' or 'she has shot herself'," Toilalo said.

It was initially reported that the girl was six years old, but police have since confirmed she was three.

Police have established a crime scene around the home and forensic officers were continuing to investigate at the house on Monday morning.

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