9-year-old Germantown boy accidentally shot himself in face, sources say

KYW Staff
May 27, 2020 - 7:34 am
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UPDATED: 7:05 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The 9-year-old boy who died Tuesday night from a gunshot wound to the face accidentally shot himself, law enforcement sources say.

Detectives are still working out the exact details of the incident. The gun was not at the scene when officers arrived at the home near 20th Street and Nedro Avenue in Germantown, but law enforcement sources say the boyfriend of the boy’s mother admitted that the weapon is his. He has no prior convictions, but sources told KYW Newsradio he did not have a permit to carry.

According to a city ordinance, anyone who has a gun must lock it up and keep it out of the hands of children. That city law lends to charges the boyfriend is expected to face, including involuntary manslaughter and two counts of both endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment, as the older 15-year-old brother is also a minor.

The 15-year-old heard a bang upstairs around 9:30 p.m. that night. When he went to check on his younger brother, he saw the boy shot in the face, sources told KYW Newsradio.

When officers arrived at the scene around 10 p.m., they found the boy shot in the face in a bedroom. He was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he died.

Neighbor Shalai Smith told NBC 10 she knew the boy and knows his family. She said his loss is a big one.

“Very good boy. (He) was very nice, very respectful to all the adults. Friendly face of the neighborhood,” she said.

The city and Temple Health offer free gun locks to secure your weapon, whether you have a legal permit to carry or not.

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KYW Newsradio's Tim Jimenez and Kristen Johanson contributed to this story.