The State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the shooting that killed a 5-year-old girl in Scarborough Monday night was accidental, a state police spokesman said Wednesday.

Elise Dorr of Belfast died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after taking the .45 caliber handgun from her father’s backpack, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a Wednesday afternoon statement.

The incident took place at the Milliken Road home of the girl’s grandparents, police said previously. The girl was in the bedroom with her father on Monday night after 7 p.m., when the father, Todd Dorr, got up to adjust the television, according to McCausland.

When Todd Dorr was moving across the room, the girl took the gun from her father’s backpack nearby and it went off, detectives claim.

The firearm was not in a holster and there was no gunlock, McCausland said.

McCausland called the girl’s death “a tragic reminder of how quick and unpredictable children can be around a loaded firearm.”

“Gun owners need to make sure guns are secured and out of reach when children are present,” he added.

No charges have been filed in the case, but prosecutors will review the police report once the full investigation is complete, he said.

The girl was staying at the grandparents’ home with two older siblings and her parents, while the grandparents were away, McCausland said previously.

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.