ATHENS, Ala. - 2017 is starting off as a tough year for those who live on Buckskin Drive in Athens. Limestone County Sheriff's Office tells WHNT News 19 a 5-year-old girl is dead after an accidental shooting.
Authorities said 34-year-old Fidel Rodriguez Canchola was firing shots into the ground just after midnight when the girl walked into his line of fire.
A family member we spoke with on camera said the girl who died was a family friend of Rodriguez who called him "uncle".
Neighbors like Anthony Holt are trying to find peace after the tragedy. "It shocked everybody. Everybody's been talking about it," said Holt.
Holt said his heart sank when he heard the news. He understands the magnitude of it, as he lost his own daughter years ago.
"It's going to be tough. I mean, it hurts. It never stops hurting. You just have to deal with it"
Holt's heart is with the family as it is a long road to recovery after losing a child.
"It's been since '96 and I can still tell you everything about that day. I think about her all the time."
It's hard to find words. Holt said sometimes the best thing to say in this situation is nothing at all.
Rodriguez has been charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide, a Class A misdemeanor.