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Teen killed in accidental shooting in Kearns

KEARNS — A devastating accident in Kearns takes the life of a 16-year old boy.  Police say he and his brother appeared to have been playing around with a loaded shotgun before it went off.

The victim’s family doesn’t want to release his name, but his step-mother, Jessi, says he loved boxing and had a lot of other things that he loved in his life.

How did the boy get the gun?  Jessi seemed puzzled about that.

“What happens here has us all extremely shocked.  We have a gun-free home,” she says.

Other family members say the boy had a heart of gold and was eager to help anyone who needed it.  Jessi says this was just a freak accident.

She adds, “If I could tell anyone anything out there, it’s ‘teach your kids gun safety,’ and how in the blink of an eye, you can lose everything and that it hurts everybody around them.”

Officers were called to the home on 5400 South after eight this morning.  Unified Police Sergeant Melody Gray says the boy and his brother appeared to have been “playing around” with the gun, likely believing it wasn’t loaded.

“One brother took a photo of the other and he says the gun went off.  The 16-year old male accidentally shot himself,” Gray says.

This is the second deadly, accidental shooting in Salt Lake County in as many months.  In February, a West Valley teen shot his friend while thinking the gun’s safety was on.

“Treat all guns as if they’re loaded.  Don’t point guns and people.  Don’t point guns at yourself,” Gray says.