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Accidental Shooting Claims Another Utah Child

Accidental Shooting Claims Another Utah Child

Posted - Sep. 20, 2003 at 8:56 p.m.



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Sammy Linebaugh Reporting Another Utah teen is dead after what appears to be an accidental shooting. It's the third of its kind in three months in the Salt Lake Valley, prompting police to speak out about prevention.

The sole witness in this case is a 13-year old boy who called 911 when the shooting happened. His father told KSL this afternoon that his son was watching TV in the other room when he heard the gun go off.

His 13-year old son was at home yesterday when he says his boy heard a shot and rushed to find his 14-year-old best friend had accidentally shot and killed himself with a gun he had taken earlier in the day from a neighboring home.

He asked we not use his name, but says he hopes other teens will learn from his family's tragedy, and that parents will be more proactive in setting rules for their kids when it comes to guns.

Salt Lake Police Sgt. Jim Bryant has a similar plea.

Sgt. Jim Bryant, Salt Lake Police Dept.: "If you find a gun, don't touch it. Go to the nearest adult and tell them about it."

Earlier this month a 12-year old boy was killed after he and a friend were playing with a semiautomatic pistol. In June a 15-year old died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound just blocks from the neighborhood where yesterday's shooting happened.

Bryant says that's three too many and he's asking communities to work together. Keep a close watch, address a child's curiosity about guns with safety information and above all, set a prevention plan.

Sgt. Bryant: "People that are going to keep guns in their homes need to make a decision about what they're going to do with those guns in relation to their children. There are some very good security devices out there. There are gun safes available that provide really pretty quick access to anyone who knows how to open the safe."

According to the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, the total number of children killed in an accidental shooting since 1988 is 64.

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