NBC News reports that a 6-year-old boy has been slain in a deputy shooting, just days before Christmas. The shooting occurred in Bexar County, Texas, while deputies were shooting at a woman during a chase. One of the deputies’ bullets went through the side of a mobile home and hit the boy in the abdomen.

The woman the deputies were chasing was suspected of auto theft and had been caught trying to break into a home. She was also killed during the shootout.

The boy's death is subject to an ongoing investigation as deputies try to find the alleged gun the woman they were chasing was pointing at them.

The Bexar County Sheriff, Javier Salazar, stated that something happened during the chase that made the deputies fear for their lives. The shooting took place in Shertz, just 20 miles outside of San Antonio. He went on to say, “At the time, we don’t believe she was warmed. She was presenting to be armed at various times throughout this prolonged pursuit.”

Salazar also told reporters that the woman and boy did not appear to be related in any way. The sheriff declined to identify the woman suspect, who had several outstanding warrants when four deputies shot at her. Some deputies had as little as two years of on-the-job experience, but others had as many as 27.

The chase began around 11 a.m., when deputies were responding to reports of a stolen car. They found the woman hiding in a closet when she said she was armed and would shoot them.

She was able to flee to nearby woods when backup was called in, and they caught up to her in a river with water that was “up to their chin.”

The shooting took place after the woman pointed something at deputies that looked like a weapon. Two other relatives were in the home with the boy when he was shot; they were uninjured.

*Photo credit WAOI