Published Sunday, March 6, 2011 | 6:22 p.m.
Updated Monday, March 7, 2011 | 11:26 a.m.
Metro Police are investigating the circumstances that led to a 4-year-old girl being struck in the head by metal fragments Sunday afternoon in a rural area south of Las Vegas, officials said.
Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said, at this point, police believe the child's injuries were the result of a tragic accident.
Lt. Ted Snodgrass said police responded to a medical call about 4:20 p.m. south of Sloan Road near Las Vegas Boulevard.
The girl's father and grandfather called 911 after she apparently fell off the tailgate of a sport utility vehicle, police said. They told authorities they were out in the desert area target shooting.
The girl was taken by helicopter to University Medical Center with critical injuries, Snodgrass said. Her current condition is unknown.
A preliminary investigation indicates a ricochet might have struck the child, causing the penetrating injuries, Cassell said.