SHERWOOD, Ark — The Ort family is heartbroken after an 18-year-old was accidentally killed Monday afternoon while being shown proper gun handling.
Ahava Ort was set to graduate from North Little Rock High School on May 17th. Her older sister Orion Ort said she'd been excited about crossing the stage to attend Pulaski Tech for culinary school.
"She was very quiet, very sweet. She had a lot of difficulty talking to people but her senior year she finally a made a lot of friends and they made her just feel comfortable with who she was," Orion said.
She may have been shy with people outside her home, but within the family Orion said Ahava was always cracking jokes.
Ahava was excited about getting her drivers license because she just got a car. She couldn't wait for for the next phase of her life as she grew up and was ready to take on new responsibilities.
"She's very big on her hair. Talking about food and you know just teenage girl stuff. She was excited to buy me new food stuff to cook with. She wanted to be a private chef, because it was more personable," Orion said.
Her father, Nathan Ort said Ahava was one of the easier kids he had. She didn't give him any trouble and didn't ask for much. He said she was just a great kid all around.
Ahava was being taught proper gun instruction by another family member. That same member accidently shot her and Sherwood police responded.
Her death is still shocking to the family, but they want to make sure nobody else has to go through this.
"First and foremost we do sympathize with the family over what happened yesterday. We don't have words for what they must be going through right now," said Richard McNeil with the Sherwood Police Department.
He stressed the importance of gun safety and said people must get properly trained on the use of a handgun from instructors who can show them how to hold, aim and properly fire.
He said if you are not going to go to a gun range you must remember these universal gun safety rules:
- Treat a gun as if it's loaded
- Keep your fingers off the trigger unless you're firing it
- Never aim it at anyone unless it's for protection
The department and Ahava's family wants to make sure that an accident like this doesn't leave another family in mourning.
"Guns are very serious and they're dangerous and you must treat every firearm with the upmost respect," said McNeil.
The department has passed out gun locks before at events and said they may look to doing more with locks for people in the future.