Toddler shot in head "doing better," mom says

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MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) - An East Tennessee toddler who was shot in the head with a pellet gun while playing in her backyard on March 15, 2019, is "doing better," as of April 29, according to her mother.

Ariel Salaices / Source: Salaices family

Her mother said that, while Ariel is still in the Intensive Care Unit, she has been upgraded to fair condition.

Two-year-old Ariel Salaices began making slow but steady improvement at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Her mother said the little girl was alert, although not speaking, and had limited movement in both sides of her body.

The family hoped to have her moved to a rehabilitation facility for continued care.

Ariel's mother, Christina Salaices, said, "Then in a few weeks we hope she will be ready to move to Atlanta, Georgia for rehab. She's alert but not talking she can move both sides of hey body with some limitations."

Christina said that Ariel will be scheduled to have a shunt placed in her head soon, "Then recovery and hopefully to Atlanta for rehab," she added.

At first, authorities said Ariel was shot by a stray bullet but they later revised their statement and said another child playing with a pellet gun was to blame for the "tragic accident."

Investigators said charges would not be filed in the case.

Officials with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office said Monday, "At the recommendation of the District Attorney General and due to the fact that the incident occurred as result of a tragic accident, no charges will be placed. This incident was investigated by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office and assisted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation."

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