9:41 PM
Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland

Tragedy unfolded at a slumber party Monday night at a home near Neosho.

Sheriff Ken Copeland says the homeowner at 13911 Sunrise Drive had gotten a new holster for Christmas and had put a .38 caliber handgun he retrieved out of a gun safe in his new Christmas gift and then laid it on top of a piano.
Copeland says four girls (all 14 year-old) who attend a Christian school in Joplin were attending the party when two girls found the weapon shortly before 9 p.m.  "One of the girls pointed the gun at Meggon G. Reppond'  head and pulled the trigger.  She told investigators that she didn't think the gun was loaded." 

Reppond was airlifted to a Joplin hospital and then transferred by an air ambulance to a Springfield hospital where she died after being taken off life support today.

The shooting remains under investigation by sheriff’s deputies and Newton County juvenile authorities, according to Copeland. "Based on the information so far, I don't believe the prosecutor is going to file charges against the homeowner.  It's a tragic situation, everybody is devastated"