Boy killed as kids play with gun on re­serve

Times Colonist - - Canada -

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.

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