Boy killed as kids play with gun on reserve
GARDEN HILL FIRST NATION, Man. — RCMP say an 11-year-old boy from a remote First Nation in northern Manitoba was killed as several kids were playing with a gun they found.
Officers in Garden Hill First Nation, a fly-in community of 5,000 residents about 600 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, said they received a call Tuesday evening reporting that a boy had been shot.
They said two 11-year-olds and a 12-year-old had been playing in a home when they found a gun.
“During the handling of this firearm by the 12-year-old, it discharged and struck the 11-year-old victim,” RCMP said in a statement Thursday.
“The youth later succumbed to his injuries.”
The 12-year-old has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and careless use of a firearm. His 36-year-old father is facing a charge of careless storage of a firearm.
Both have been released from custody.
“Everybody’s pulling together. They’re helping each other. It’s a tragic accident,” said Garden Hill Chief Dino Flett, who was reached by phone Thursday in Winnipeg.
Flett said the boy who is charged was a friend of the victim. He said the accused is a good kid.
Elders and mental-health support workers have been brought in to help Garden Hill’s students cope with the tragedy, Flett said.
He noted that friends and family are helping the victim’s relatives.