A coroner’s report into the shooting death of one teen by another was classified as an accident.
A 15-year-old Terrace boy died after being shot in the abdomen by a firearm thought to be unloaded on Feb. 9, 2015 at a private residence. A teenage male, 16 at the time, was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 45 days in open custody followed by 17 months under supervision, and to perform 10 hours of community service.
Both boys’ names are protected under a publication ban.
The BC Coroners’ report, now obtained by the Terrace Standard, makes clear the incident, however tragic, was accidental in nature.
The report said that victim was with friends at someone’s house and shortly before 11 p.m., he and one of his friends went to look at some guns in the basement.
His friend removed a shotgun from the ceiling rafters where it was being stored and, believing it to be unloaded, pulled the trigger while the gun was pointing at the victim, read the report.
Resuscitation was attempted but was not successful.
What appears to be in the interest of preventing further tragedies like this, coroner Adele Lambert drew attention in her report to the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) who recently released a position statement on The prevention of firearm injuries in Canadian youth.
“They concluded that children and adolescents have an increased risk for firearm injuries. Adolescents are vulnerable to injury because they have incompletely developed self-regulation skills such as impulse control. These self-regulation skills can be particularly impaired in situations involving peers, high levels of emotion and substance use. One of the CPS recommendations was for health care providers to counsel families that firearms should not be present in homes where children and adolescents live. If a firearm is present, it must be stored appropriately – unloaded, locked and separate from its ammunition.”