‘Tragic.’ 16-year-old fatally shot while handling gun in Bridgeport home, police say
A 16-year-old boy has died after a gun went off in a Bridgeport home while he and another teen were handling the weapon, Bridgeport police said. They did not identify the victim Tuesday and called it “a tragic and isolated incident.”
It happened at a house on Pacific Street between Somers and Wade streets Saturday. Police said they responded there around 1:30 p.m. after a call for a person shot in the face. When they arrived, they found the boy inside the home with a critical gunshot wound to his head. Police said he was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit but died Monday.
“When I came home Saturday around 6 p.m., I saw officers out there. And then the next day I heard what happened,” neighbor Hope Shand told News 12. “Very sad and scary.”
Shand described the block as normally “quiet and calm, peaceful.”
But that atmosphere was shattered over the weekend. Police said a preliminary investigation found the victim and a 15-year-old girl were handling the gun in a bedroom when it discharged. The boy didn't live in the home, but the girl does, according to the property owner, who declined to go on camera.
“I you have a gun in your house, you have to protect it from teens and small kids,” Shand said.
It was a sentiment echoed by another neighbor, who said she’s a parent and a licensed gun owner. Christina Torres told News 12 she encourages people to invest in a biometric safe that only opens with fingerprints.
“Parents need to talk to kids about gun safety. Kids these days are bold and curious. If we haven’t learned from endless stories on the news about children accidentally shooting themselves and the need to secure firearms, hopefully this will open the eyes of people who see this story. Unfortunately, in this tragic event, someone lost their life. Let’s learn from this so it doesn’t continue to happen,” Torres said. She also offered her condolences to the victim’s family and said she hopes the other child involved find ways to cope with the trauma of what happened.
Police have not said if the gun belongs to someone who lives in the home. Where the gun came from is just one of many questions in the case. A police spokesperson said they would not release any more information right now because the investigation involves minors.
Capt. Kevin Gilleran said in a news release, "The police department's thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the young victim."
Police ask anyone with information to contact Detective Holtz at 203-581-5239 or use the Bridgeport Police Tips Line at 203-576-TIPS.