Police said a 7-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself.
CLEVELAND (WOIO/Gray News) – Friends and family of a Cleveland first grader mourn after police say he died by accidentally shooting himself in the head.
Police say Demetrius Dunlap, 7, was shot and killed around 2:00 p.m. Saturday while sitting on a couch in a house on Cleveland’s West Side. His family took him to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Police say Demetrius grabbed a gun and accidentally shot himself. They found the gun at the scene, according to WOIO.
“Looks like a minor was sitting on the couch. The gun is on the couch. Someone has already dropped a magazine out of it,” the first respondent said in response to a call to the dispatcher.
Police say a 7-year-old boy’s life was cut short when he had a loaded gun in his reach, which they say could have been prevented. It is in such cases that the Cleveland police sergeant. Jennifer Chaccia says it’s important that people lock up their guns.
“Unfortunately, this brings to consciousness the need to secure firearms. We can’t stress enough that if you’re going to have a firearm, you have to get some training and buy something to keep those firearms out of the reach of children,” she said.
Demetrius was a first grade student at Luis Muñoz Marín’s school. His death shocked not only his loved ones, but also students and staff.
A statement sent by school principal Sam Roman to the families read, in part:
“I know you share our deep concern and sympathy for the family of Demetrius Dunlap. On behalf of our entire school community, we reached out to them to offer comfort and support as they cope with the heartbreaking loss of someone so dear to them and to us.”
Roman also said that psychologists would be on duty at the school all week.
“While we struggle to understand this heartbreaking loss to our school community, we are committed to helping students who will understandably be saddened or bewildered by the sudden death of one of their peers,” he said.
The police are still investigating the incident. Once completed, they will send the information to the prosecutor’s office, who will determine whether charges will be brought against the adults who were in the home at the time.
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