A 7-year-old Plymouth, MN, boy fatally shot himself after finding a loaded handgun stashed with a toy in the family’s home while other children played nearby.
Keyaris Samuels died in the Wednesday afternoon incident. Authorities said the children, ages 7 to 11, were playing without an adult at home when one of them found the gun in a box in the bedroom. The box also held a new hoverboard.
All four children saw the gun, and Keyaris was inside alone with it when the other three children, who went outside, heard it go off.
Keyaris’ mother arrived home shortly after the shooting, according to Plymouth Public Safety Director Mike Goldstein. She told police she was unaware the gun was in the box and that it was not hers. Goldstein said it’s possible that Keyaris believed the gun was a toy like the hoverboard.
“This entire incident should have never occurred,” Goldstein said. “No one should have died, especially such a young and innocent child.”
Goldstein said police were interviewing people to determine who owns the gun.
“We will do everything in our power to hold the gun owner or owners accountable for their irresponsible and unconscionable actions,” Goldstein said.
“I am so sad for this family. … Everything we were told is that Keyaris was a sweet little kid.”
Keyaris was a first-grader in the Wayzata school district, according to a statement from the superintendent.
“This is certainly a challenging time for all of us at Wayzata Public Schools and throughout the broader community,” the statement from Superintendent Chace Anderson read. “With challenging times like this, it is important for us to pull together in support of one another.”
Anderson said additional support staff has been added at the school to offer anyone assistance coping with “this tragic news.”
SOURCE: Randy Furst and Paul Walsh
The Star Tribune