PLYMOUTH, Minn. (WCCO) – Police in the west metro are calling the shooting death of a 7-year-old boy a tragic accident.
They say Keyaris Samuels found a loaded gun in a box at home Wednesday and accidentally shot himself. Police say the child died shortly after 3 p.m. at the Common Bond Communities on Shenandoah Lane in Plymouth.
Plymouth Police Chief Mike Goldstein says Samuels and three other children had gone to his home after school to play.
“At some point, Keyaris was alone in the home while the other children played outside and he found a loaded handgun in a box that stores a hoverboard,” Goldstein said. “He never came back outside.”
The loss of the 7-year-old was felt by neighbors and friends.
“No matter how you were feeling, he had a smile and tried to help you,” said neighbor Susanna Kallin.
Police say Keyaris accidentally fired the handgun that took his life.
The three children he had been playing with found him and told a neighbor.
Crews were trying to revive him using CPR when his mother got to the house.
“It’s devastating,” said Melisha Turner, Samuels’ great aunt. “We’re trying to do the best we can for his mom.”
Keyaris attended a Wayzata public school. The district released a statement Thursday saying that during such a challenging time it is important for the community to “pull together in support of one another.”
Police are still trying to determine who owns the loaded gun that was left unsecured in the box.
“This entire tragedy could have and should have been avoided,” the police chief said.
According to Melissa Coleman, Samuels’ grandmother, the boy’s mother had bought the hoverboard that was in the box where the gun was found just the night before.
As such, she also want answers.
“I’m just hurt,” she said. “That’s my baby, the only person who can answer me is God.”
Police say the mother is the only adult who lives in the home, but they do not believe she is the gun owner.
Police will pursue charges for who stored the gun irresponsibly.