By Lisa Gresci

LYNN (CBS) — A 15-year-old girl was shot in the chest on Saturday, allegedly while a friend was playing with a gun and did not know it was loaded.

Police rushed onto North Common Terrace in Lynn following the shooting. Investigators say the girl was shot in the chest and rushed to the hospital.

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Neighbor Victoria Martin said she was in the middle of welcoming guests for her daughter Hope’s third birthday when the chaotic scene unfolded.

“I’ve lived here for 16 years and this is the first time something like this has ever happened in this yard, so it was kinda tough,” said Martin. “They put the yellow tape, which kind of killed my daughter’s birthday, because then no one was allowed to come in the yard or leave.”

Police arrested 23-year-old Michael Tate almost immediately. They say the investigation so far indicates this was an accident, and that Tate was playing with the gun, not realizing there was a round inside.

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Neighbors who know Tate and are close with the family. He was here to visit, and are confident this wasn’t done on purpose.

“He’s polite, always saying hi. And no matter where he sees me in the street – hi and bye – and the young lady, she don’t deserve it too. Hopefully, it was an accident,” said another neighbor. “I believe it was an accident.”

The 15-year-old girl is expected to be ok.

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As for Tate, he is now facing several charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He is due in court on Monday.

Lisa Gresci