Press Release


Accidental shooting claims the life of 12 year old Arlington girl

Kittitas County, WA - 05/29/2018 - Sydney Darnell was taken off life support Monday the 28th and death was pronounced at 9:30 AM by Harborview physicians.

On 5/27/2018 at 12:32 PM Kittitas County Deputies and Upper County Medical personnel responded to Sandy Ridge Road for a report of a 12 year old who had been accidentally shot in the head while target practicing.

Preliminary investigation found that Sydney and her mother, Kiara Darnell, were visiting Kiara's boyfriend, 52 year old Sean A. Frick of Cle Elum. Mr. Frick and Sydney were target practicing with a lever action 22 rifle. Sydney had just shot the rifle and wanted to go check the target so she had laid the rifle down on the deck railing so she could down the hill. Mr. Frick noticed she had left the rifle loaded with the hammer cocked back so he attempted to make the rifle safe. The gun went off when he attempted to lower the hammer. Sydney, who had walked of the deck and was right in the direct path of the round.

Ms. Darnell called 911 while Mr. Frick started CPR on Sydney who was unresponsive. A Sheriff's Deputy assisted in performing life saving measures until emergency medical personnel from Fire District 6, 7 and Medic 1 arrived.

Sydney was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center around 1:40 PM. and survived on life support until the following morning. The following morning.

The Sheriff's Office is working with the County Coroner and the King County Medical Examiner on the investigation.

Undersheriff Myers wished to convey their sympathy for the family and to take this opportunity to emphasize safety. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Sydney's family and friends as they face the sorrow and  pain of this tragedy. We also pray that those who become aware of this incident will show compassion before deciding how they can use it to communicate their own personal belief and/or agenda. Tragic injury or loss of life, especially when it involves children, frustrates us and reaches all of our emotions. Just because Social media allows us the opportunity to criticize, condemn and hate, doesn't mean we have to. It has been my experience that Righteous Indignation does little more than feed the ego of the sender, so before you decide to launch your attack, consider some of the beneficial alternatives; sympathy, mercy and compassion."

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Clay Myers, Undersheriff