The tragedy began with a game of “cops and robbers,” but what the brothers didn’t know was that they were playing with a loaded handgun. And that’s how a 15-year-old boy ended up killing his 13-year-old brother in Minneapolis on Sunday, according to police reports.
The police said that the incident appeared to have been an accident, although an investigation is still underway. All collected facts will be reviewed at the Dakota County Attorney’s office. The police did not arrest the older brother, nor are there plans to make any arrests.
Eagan authorities issued a statement saying that the boy had called the police and told them that his younger brother had accidentally fallen on a knife, bled and was unresponsive. The boy, however, opened up during questioning and told the police that he accidentally shot his brother. Efforts to save the boy were futile. The police pronounced him dead at the scene.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the boys had earlier found their father’s gun where it was hidden, but it wasn’t loaded. However, when they returned to it later, it was loaded. That’s when they started playing “cops and robbers.”
Unfortunately, when the older boy pulled the trigger, he fired a bullet into his brother’s chest.
Their 11-year old sister was also at home, but she didn’t witness the shooting, and she was unarmed.
The deceased brother, Suhayb Jamal Hassan, was in the eighth grade at Blackhawk Middle School in Eagan. The school was notified of his death on Monday.
A neighbor who requested anonymity said he often saw the teen boys walk together to school. The neighbor also revealed that the parents have another daughter besides the 11-year old.
“I think they have rented the home for about two years,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified. “It’s so sad. You hear about this happening a lot … kids playing with guns.”
There are several cases involving children playing with guns that lead to death after firing shots. Just recently, a mother in Missouri called the police, saying that her 5-year-old boy shot her baby.
Many parents have been blamed for not keeping their handguns out of children’s reach. At the same time, a lot of people suggest that it is the rise of a strong gun culture that is making children eager to experiment with firearms.