WBUR

Boy, 9, Killed In Apparent Accidental Shooting; Brother, 14, Charged

BOSTON — A 9-year-old Boston boy was killed Friday in what police called an accidental shooting by his 14-year-old brother, who was later charged in the death.

The 14-year-old faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Authorities say the boy was shot by his older brother Friday morning at their triple-decker home at 617 Morton St., in the city’s Mattapan neighborhood.

Mattapan's 617 Morton St., where a 9-year-old boy was fatally shot Friday morning (Delores Handy/WBUR)

617 Morton St., where a 9-year-old boy was fatally shot Friday (Delores Handy/WBUR)

“It looks like we’ve got a terrible tragedy here,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said during a news conference outside the home Friday. “It looks like we’ve got a brother who shot his younger brother accidentally.”

Evans said police received a call at 11:37 a.m. Friday and, inside the home, found the 9-year-old suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. The boy was later pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.

The older brother — who was apparently “panicked,” Evans said — ran out of the house with the firearm, but was “very remorseful” when police caught up with him.

According to the DA’s office: “[I]nvestigators believe the boy was handling the firearm recklessly when it discharged, striking his younger brother. The evidence at this stage does not suggest that any other person in the juvenile’s home knew he possessed the firearm.”

Facing charges, the 14-year-old’s name is not being released because of his age. The 9-year-old’s name is also being withheld until full family notifications are made.

Police at first identified the victim as an 11-year-old. A police spokeswoman later confirmed the boy’s age as 9.

Mayor Martin Walsh echoed Evans, saying this “tragedy is terrible.”

“An 11-year-old boy [sic] should not be shot on a Friday, late morning. He should be in school,” Walsh said. “His 14-year-old brother should not be in a situation where he has access to a gun.”

Walsh made an appeal to residents to help get guns off the street.

District Attorney Daniel Conley made a similar plea.

“Part of our investigation in the days to come will be determining how this weapon got into the hands of a 14-year-old,” he said in a statement. “In the meantime, I want to make something crystal clear: if you know about an illegal firearm in this city, help us prevent another tragedy like this one.”

The 14-year-old will be arraigned Monday in the juvenile session of Dorchester Municipal Court.

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