Update: Tiffany Goldwire surrendered at Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon.
Police say Tiffany Goldwire knew that her boyfriend had left a cocked and loaded .357-caliber revolver on top of the refrigerator in her West Philadelphia home one morning this month. And police say she knew the gun was later put under a bed in the master bedroom, where she left her four young children to play alone.
The children found the gun and began playing with it. At one point, police say, her 2-year-old son took the gun in his tiny hands and pointed it at sister Jamara Stevens, 11. The bullet struck the girl in her arm and passed through her chest, fatally wounding her.
On Wednesday, the District Attorney's Office announced that prosecutors had charged Goldwire with involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children, and weapons offenses.
Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said Goldwire faces charges because she was responsible for the children in the home.
"She knew that there was a gun in the house, that it had been moved, and that it was under the bed at the time," Jamerson said. "She is the mother of these children, and she is responsible for what happened."
When police responded to the house on Wallace Street on the morning of April 5, they found a distraught Goldwire cradling her daughter, police said.
She told police she had left the children alone in the room with the loaded weapon while she went to use the bathroom.
Jamara died a little while later at a hospital.
Police have issued a wanted poster for Goldwire, 31, who has been arrested eight times for weapons, theft, and assault charges, and who in 2009 pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm. She was sentenced to 23 months in prison.
"We don't know where she is right now," Officer Christine O'Brien, a police spokeswoman, said Wednesday.