Brothers Playing With Guns Ends in Family Tragedy

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010  |  Updated 5:30 PM PDT
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Brothers Playing With Guns Ends in Family Tragedy

NBCChicago.com

One of the guns police found.

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Oakland police are investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy  who accidentally shot himself Monday night while playing with a loaded  handgun.

Police headed to 3021 Filbert St., near San Pablo Avenue in West  Oakland, at 7:45 p.m. after receiving a call about a young boy who had shot  himself, Oakland police spokesman Officer Jeff Thomason said today.

When they arrived, officers found the teen suffering from a single  gunshot wound, Thomason said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the boy and his  13-year-old brother were playing with the gun in the bathroom of their aunt's  house, Thomason said. It is not clear if any adults were home at the time, he  said.

The gun somehow discharged while the boys were playing with it,  and the older brother was hit. Police questioned the 13-year-old before  releasing him to his family.

Investigators will now look into how the boys obtained the gun,  Thomason said.

Thomason said that it appears the 15-year-old brought the weapon  to the house from somewhere else. Police are working to find the gun's  registered owner.

"People need to be aware," he said. "Owners of firearms need to  make sure it's locked and secured, and not in a place where children or young  adults can get it."

Thomason added that "parents should teach their kids that, if they  find a firearm on the street, always pretend that it's loaded. Don't touch  it, and call the police."

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to  contact the Oakland Police Department's homicide unit at (510) 238-3821.

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