KEARNS — A 16-year-old boy playing with a shotgun accidentally shot and killed himself inside his home Monday, police say.
The incident occurred about 8:15 a.m. at 5007 W. 5400 South. A 16-year-old boy and his 17-year-old brother had a shotgun in a bedroom, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.
"(The brother) said they were just looking at it, swinging it around," Gray said. "At some point, this young man had this shotgun and it went off."
The shooting was determined to be self-inflicted and investigators said it was accidental, she said.
A woman named Jessi, who identified herself as the boy's stepmother, said Monday, "What happened here today has us all extremely shocked. We have a gun-free home. Our son was an amazing boxer, he was an amazing kid, and he had lots of great things that he was doing. This is a shock. And if could tell anybody out there, teach your kids gun safety and how in the blink of an eye you could lose everything. It hurts everybody around them. It was just a freak accident."
Police were investigating Monday where the shotgun came from.
The incident, Gray said, is another reminder for the public that guns are not toys.
"All guns should be treated as if they're loaded, and don't point them at anything you're not willing to destroy or kill," she said. "We hear this all the time: 'We didn't think it was loaded.' So if every gun is treated as if it is loaded if you come across one, treat it as if it's loaded."10 comments on this story
The name of the boy was not immediately released pending notification of family members.
This is the second accidental fatal shooting of a teenager in Salt Lake County in a little over a month.
On Feb. 5, Marquez Grajeda, 15, was shot and killed while inside a bedroom at a house at 1347 W. 2320 South during a lunch break from school. A 14-year-old boy, who said the shooting was an accident, is charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony.
Contributing: Paul Nelson