A Boy Scout shoots himself in the head, killing himself during a week at camp, in a tragedy still being investigated by San Diego authorities. A 12-year-old boy from Las Vegas was said to have fired a gun at himself during the week-long event; the prospects of the death being a suicide are being looked into, though the fatal incident being an accident has not been ruled out by officials. USA Today provides the latest updates to this heartbreaking occurrence this Monday, June 30, 2014.
As cited by police spokesperson Matt Tortorella, local law enforcement authorities were sent an emergency call about a Boy Scout shooting himself in the head early this Monday morning, only a bit after 7:30 in the morning. The officer confirmed that an emergency medical crew had arrived at the camp shortly after the self-inflicted shooting to tend to the male victim, but they were unable to revive the boy. He was declared dead on scene.
Although some media news sources are reporting the tragic death as a suicide, there have been no confirmations on this front. The 12-year-old teen male’s death may have been an accident, and the investigation is ongoing. Officials currently taking statements from other camp goers and waiting on results to be verified by the local medical examiner. According to Tortorella’s statement, the boy was found inside a tent, shot in the head from a single gunshot wound with a handgun found only a couple of feet away from the body. How he got his hands on the gun is unknown.
Over 20 Boy Scouts, including the victim, were part of the group participating in the San Diego camp festivities, which was taking place at Mission Bay Park. The father of the boy who shot himself, as well as the teen’s Scout leader, were present when the fatal incident occurred. They are still being interviewed by police officers, noted the press release.
The New York Post reveals that a grandfather of a friend of the deceased boy was also in attendance at the Boy Scouts camp. He said he is shocked by the whole ordeal, and would never have anticipated something this horrific to have occurred at such a peaceful place. Says 81-year-old Bob Jones on the male's sudden death by gunshot:
"I would never expect that at a Scout camp … I know this will affect him [my grandson] emotionally so I would just like to be there for him."
Another camp volunteer said he thought he heard at least one gunshot at one point this morning, but thought nothing of it at the time and didn't examine the sound. He added that the other Boy Scouts are saddened by the freak accident as well. No conjecture over whether the incident was an accident or a suicide has been made by any other visitors.
"It's absolutely tragic," offered a volunteer.
The Boy Scouts week long camp was intended to build leadership skills and help the teen and pre-teen boys earn a badge in sailing. There were not supposed to be any firearms present at the camp, and no weapons programs were intended for the week-long event. A counselor has since been introduced to help any detrimentally affected by the tragedy. The Boy Scouts of America also offered a formal statement on the loss of the male victim and the Boy Scout shoots self headline:
"This is an extremely sad day for our entire scouting family," Boy Scouts of America declared. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and all those who experienced this tragedy. Our top priority is providing support to our community and for those in the grieving process."