A 14-year-old Ohio teen was accidentally killed when a gun he was holding while chatting with a friend on FaceTime went off. His friend stated that neither of them knew there were any live rounds in the weapon. Police say the victim was home alone at the time of the accident.
The boy, who has not been identified, died after the 11 a.m. Wednesday shooting at his home in the 4200 block of Beechmont Drive in Union Township. The boy had been holding a gun while on a FaceTime call with a friend and it accidentally went off and hit the teen in the face.
According to WLWT5, “Police have not confirmed how the teen got the gun or who it belonged to.
“The teenager was a freshman at West Clermont High School [in suburban Cincinnati], police said. It is unclear why he wasn't at school.”
Police say the incident occurred at around 11:00 am on Wednesday and, according to the friend he was FaceTiming with, the teen was in his bedroom when it happened.
The friend witnessed the shooting via FaceTime and immediately called 9-1-1.
"I hung up immediately. I was going to go check on him, but then I realized I should probably call the cops before I went to his house," said the 911 caller.
Grief counselors were on hand Wednesday at West Clermont High School, to talk with students who were traumatized by the event. “School officials also sent a letter home to parents later Wednesday,” WXIX reports.
“We are deeply saddened to inform you that a student at West Clermont High School passed away today after an accident at home,” the letter read. “While it may be tempting for some to speculate, I do ask that out of respect to the family, and for those involved, that our school community refrain from doing so.”
The letter went on to advise parents to talk to their kids about “their feelings and their well-being” so as to better come to terms about the horrendous tragedy that has devastated the highly-knit neighborhood.
"Dear West Clermont families:
"We are deeply saddened to inform you that a student at West Clermont High School passed away today after an accident at home. While it may be tempting for some to speculate, I do ask that out of respect to the family, and for those involved, that our school community refrain from doing so.
"As always, but especially in this difficult time, the well being of our students and staff is our top priority. We are providing grief counselors at the high school in both community rooms for those students and staff members wishing to talk. We will have them available today until 4 pm and tomorrow as long as necessary to support our pack through this loss.
"We are also in contact with the family to provide any support needed. That includes finding ways that we can be helpful to them as a school community that is in keeping with the wishes of the family.
"This is a good time to remind you to talk with your kids about their feelings and their well-being. Let them know that there are resources in place at the high school and in the community if they ever need to talk with anyone. They can contact: Clermont County Crisis Hotline 513-528-SAVE (7283)
"As we move through this very difficult loss, please know that we will try to maintain normalcy for our students. While that will be difficult, our teachers and staff will be sensitive to the student needs. It will take all of us time to work through this, but please do let me know if you have any concerns or thoughts. It is important at this time that our students and staff know that we are one pack and we will take care of each other." - Randy Gebhardt
Our condolences go out to the family of the boy who passed away, and we pray that the entire community can find some measure of peace and comfort in the wake of this horrible tragedy.