What was reported as a two boys messing around with a handgun turned fatal when a 14-year-old died at the hospital.
According to the Glendale Police Department, the boy died Monday night.
Around midnight June 5, officers responded to a home near 68th Avenue and Bethany Home Road for a report of an unknown trouble.
When they arrived, they learned a teenage boy, then reported as 13, had been shot and sustained life-threatening injuries. Police further said that the firearms within the home were not properly secured and were accessible.
He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He died June 11.
Police said he was visiting the home of his 13-year-old friend, who lived with his mother. Both were at the home. Also there were an unknown number of people between 10 and 18.
Police said the mother was in a different room when the shooting occurred.
Everyone at the home remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
Glendale police is waiting for a decision to be made by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on charges for the owner of the handgun and her 13-year-old son.
Police are not releasing the names of anyone involved as the investigation continues.
It was not known if the mother still has custody of the 13-year-old or any of the other youth at the home, although police said not all of them were related to the homeowner.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety was also contacted regarding this matter.
“We would suggest that gunowners be responsible by securing their firearms in a locked place where children do not have access, like a gun safe,” Officer Tiffany Smith said in regards to improper gun storage. “There are also gun locks that are typically given when guns are purchased. We use Eddie the Eagle here at the police department to teach gun safety. We also have gun locks for those that need them.”
The NSSF’s “S.A.F.E. Summer” campaign focuses on the importance of safe and responsible firearm handling and storage.
“SAFE” serves as an acronym for Secure your firearms when not in use; Be Aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to guns; Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner; and Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage.