Warning: Distressing content
The father of a 3-year-old Sydney girl found dead of a gunshot wound to the neck has been charged with firearm offences.
The 43-year-old will remain behind bars on charges related to an unlicensed sawn-off shotgun.
Paramedics were called to the Lalor Park home in the city's west about 8pm local time last night amid reports a child had been shot after finding a weapon. They found the toddler with a fatal wound to her neck.
Forensic officers remained at the house today. Three other children aged between 3 and 8 were in the home at the time of the shooting. One shot was fired, police say.
The girl's father of Arncliffe was today charged with possessing an unregistered sawn-off shotgun. He was also charged with possessing the weapon without a licence and not storing the weapon safely.
Police also charged him with contravening domestic violence orders. The 43-year-old appeared before Blacktown Local Court and is scheduled to reappear on September 1.
"At the time of the incident, the child's mother and other children were in the house and the child's father was nearby," NSW Police Quakers Hill Commander, Superintendent Paul Carrett, told reporters.
"The death of a 3-year-old child under any circumstances is tragic. It is tragic for the family and it is tragic for the police and other emergency services who attend these scenes."
Neighbour hears man screaming "she's dead"
Neighbour Mel Toilalo earlier described hearing what she first thought was a "car crash" it was so loud.
She ran outside and said she heard a man from the home screaming "she's dead" and "she's shot herself".
"I just heard the gun shot and then I rang the police," she said.
"I ran outside at the same time, I saw a man on the floor, he was screaming she is dead or she has shot herself.
"So I tried to knock on the front door because it was closed."
Toilalo said the mum eventually came to the door but struggled to open it because she was in shock and panicking.
"She was screaming it was his fault because he had a gun in the house."
She said the family had moved into the house about six months ago.
Police have interviewed both parents and specialist officers will interview the girl's three brothers today.
Video from the scene shows a man sitting in the gutter with his head in his hands. A woman is later heard screaming "I hate you, I hate you" and "rot in hell". She is also heard yelling "not my baby girl".
Detectives from Quakers Hill Local Area Command swarmed on the home as they launched a major investigation into the girl's death. Police were seen speaking with the girl's distraught family while neighbours said the young girl's mother was "hysterical".
One neighbour said he ran outside to "chaos" with people running around and crying. He helped neighbours take three children from the house into a nearby property.
The mother of the girl then came into the neighbour's house and was "hysterical", he said.
"We saw there was chaos and we thought one of the neighbours were in trouble and we went out to help," he said.
He said a neighbour told them a young girl had been fatally wounded.
"Our neighbour took all the children into her house ... there were three of them, the oldest would have been around 8," he said.
"We were there with the kids for some time."
The man said at one point the mother of the girl came inside and was extremely distressed.
"The mum came into the house and it was chaotic and all of that," he said. "She was just rambling, she was hysterical.
"It's very upsetting, we've got children of our own who are the same age range. It is traumatic."
Earlier, a woman, believed to be the girl's mother, was escorted to an ambulance and taken from the scene.
She was a "beautiful, sweet" girl
Lesley Studans, the principal of the school attended by the dead girl's brothers, sent out a note to parents today to inform them of the tragedy.
She wrote that specialist staff and counsellors had been at the school and would "remain here as long as needed to support the students and staff".
"I appreciate that speaking to your child about matters like this can be very challenging," the note read.
"It is at these very difficult times that we see best what a caring community we have here at St Joseph's."
Parents today spoke highly of the family and were "in shock".
"The whole family was gorgeous, we only just found out about it, we're all in shock," one mother said.
Greg Whitby, executive director Catholic education Diocese of Parramatta said: "The close-knit community of St Joseph's Primary, Schofields was devastated to learn of the death of the young sibling of three students overnight.
"The community is united in prayer for this young child and will offer every support to the family.
"Specialist staff and counsellors have been at the school today and will remain on site to work with staff and students as needed."
A student said the girl would run up to students when she visited at pick-up time.
"She would run around and was really cute, she would ask to play and would always say hi," she said.
Another mum said she was "beautiful" and a "sweet" girl.