Authorities say a stepfather in Surprise intentionally shot his daughter in the chest with a pellet gun because she stole food.
Police responded to a home near Litchfield and Waddell roads around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. A 911 caller said a 13-year-old girl was shot in the chest at close range with a pellet gun. The child was flown to Phoenix Children's and taken into emergency surgery because the pellet hit the outside sack of her heart, according to court paperwork.
Police said the girl told a nurse and social worker that she was shot after she was found eating something she shouldn't have, and was told the next time she would be Tased.
When interviewed by police, the stepfather, 37-year-old Isiah Jackson, denied shooting the teen on purpose but admitted the girl gets in trouble for eating out of the trash and stealing food.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for the house and found the victim lived in "deplorable conditions," including a lock on the outside of the door, a bunk bed with only one mattress and no personal belongings. The room also smelled of urine, officers wrote in a probable cause statement.
The other children who live in the home had rooms with "high-end furniture, decorations, clothing and toys."
Police say the victim has not been to school in three years and has no personal items in her room because her parents removed them.
Jackson has been arrested on one count of child abuse and one count of aggravated assault. A judge set his bond at $150,000.