6-Year-Old Boy Shoots, Kills Classmate

September 8, 2006

A 6-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a girl, also 6, Sunday while playing with a gun left unattended in the girl’s grandfather’s car, according to Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) spokesman Alexander Arrieta.

The girl, identified by the name Paula González, was shot in the heart by a bullet fired by the boy, identified by the last name Herrera, Arrieta said.

The incident occurred “in a matter of seconds” in a parking lot in the north-central Costa Rica town of Guatuso, where the two children were waiting in the car while the girl’s mother ran an errand.

The children, who were friends from pre-school, found a 22-caliber pistol in the back seat and got out of the car to play with it, Arrieta said. The car and pistol both belong to González’s grandfather; the mother reportedly was unaware the weapon was in the car.

González was transported to a nearby clinic and later to a hospital in the city of Upala, 40 kilometers away, where she died in the emergency room.

“Doctors did everything they could to save her life, but the bullet had hit her heart,” Red Cross worker Fabio Rodríguez told La Nación.

 

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