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Deputy shoots daughter in error, crashes

– A Virginia deputy sheriff shot his 16-year-old daughter after mistaking her for an intruder, then crashed his car as he rushed her to the hospital, authorities said.

The teenager was in stable condition at a Winchester hospital, according to media reports.

Capt. Donnie Lang of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said a security alarm sounded about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Winchester home of Easton McDonald, a sergeant with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. He said McDonald, responding to the alarm, saw the dark shape of a person advancing through the garage door and fired.

“He figured someone had broken into the garage, and his family was upstairs asleep,” Lang said.

Armed with his privately owned gun – not his service weapon – McDonald fired, Lang said.

“Then he hears her voice and recognizes that it’s his daughter,” he said.

According to investigators, McDonald grabbed his daughter, who had been returning home after apparently sneaking out, and called 911 to report that he was taking her to the hospital.

En route, McDonald lost control of his car and hit a barricade, damaging the front of the vehicle but causing no additional injuries to his daughter or to himself, Lang said.

Emergency responders went to the scene of the crash and took McDonald’s daughter to the hospital.

A call to the McDonald home Friday went to a recording, which said the number had been temporarily disconnected.

Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun sheriff’s office, confirmed that McDonald was involved in the shooting but declined to comment further.

McDonald, a 13-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

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