Child of 10 ‘fires air ri­fle’on Christ­mas Eve – and mom dies

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

hoff, Bel­lville. More com­monly known as a pel­let gun, the ri­fle is be­lieved to have been a gift to the woman’s son, aged 12.

Po­lice were tight-lipped yes­ter­day about the iden­tity of the fam­ily, and would pro­vide no fur­ther de­tails. But af­ter out­rage sparked on Face­book news­feeds about the par­ents’ re­spon­si­bil­ity in choos­ing the ri­fle as a gift, a fam­ily friend posted an ex­pla­na­tion as to what had hap­pened.

“She (the daugh­ter) posed with the pel­let gun for a photo. It was a freak ac­ci­dent. The fam­ily is shat­tered. Don’t judge too quickly,” posted CarelJo­hann de Bruin, who said he knew the fam­ily.

He said the woman had died of blood loss as a re­sult of the pel­let hit­ting an artery. But, De Bruin did ac­knowl­edge that there should have been “more re­spon­si­bil­ity” with re­gards to the han­dling of the ri­fle.

He said that the fa­ther and chil­dren would “for­ever suf­fer pain and blame them­selves” for what had hap­pened.

Pro­vin­cial po­lice spokesman An­dre Traut said they could not re­lease the iden­tity of the mother to pro­tect the iden- tity of the daugh­ter, who is a mi­nor.

He con­firmed that the woman was shot on Christ­mas Eve.

He said the woman died later in hos­pi­tal.

An in­quest docket had been opened and the cir­cum­stances around her death were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

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