19-year-old Austin McCord, of Joshua, Texas was clearing his AK-47 when he unintentionally discharged the weapon. The bullet hit Austin's step-sister, Emilee Bates, in the stomach.
Emilee was airlifted to the hospital in Fort Worth where she died two hours later. She died on her 13th birthday.
"There is no question in our minds that this is just a horribly tragic accident," said the local sheriff. "He did everything he could do after the firearm was discharged."
According to the sheriff's report, Austin had placed two dummy rounds above the loaded magazine of the AK-47 so he could clean the gun. He ejected the dummy rounds and thought he was making the weapon safe by pulling the trigger to drop the bolt on an empty chamber. But he forgot he had a loaded magazine in the weapon, and the gun discharged.
No charges are pending.