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A 17-year-old McMinn County girl was killed Saturday when the gun her 13-year-old brother was unloading discharged, McMinn County sheriff Joe Guy confirmed Sunday.

The girl was struck by a single round from the rifle inside the family's home on County Road 278 near Niota.

"It's a very tragic event," Guy said. "I just spoke with the father a little bit ago and just expressed that they're in our thoughts and prayers." 

Guy said the sheriff's office is still investigating, but the incident appears to be an accident, he said.

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