Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parents not charged in suicides of Las Vegas 10-year old and 13-year old

Kameron Asgari, age 10
On December 13 of last year, on the same day, a 10-year old boy and a 13-year old girl committed suicide with their family's unsecured guns, both shot in the head.  Prosecutors are not charging the parents with those deaths.  At least one parent was home at the time of each shooting.

From the article:

The parents, who have not been named by police, faced possible felony charges of child endangerment with substantial bodily harm. 
Prosecutors with the district attorney's office said last week they declined to pursue charges in the two cases because evidence indicated the children wanted to kill themselves. The parents had no idea that their children were suicidal, prosecutors said. 
Marina Momcheva, age 13
"As much as we want parents to be responsible for the safety of their children, you're not in the head of the child," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Chrysanthis. "If you have no indication they are contemplating taking their life, it's very difficult for us to second- guess what a parent should have done." 
Chrysanthis said each case was "tragic and heart-wrenching."
But there is something the parents could have done.  They could have better-secured their guns, keeping them locked and unloaded.  Or, better yet, not had guns in the home with their children.  Children are naturally impulsive, and it isn't always possible to know when they are depressed or suicidal.
On Dec. 13 about 2:45 p.m., 10-year-old Kameron Asgari shot himself after finding a weapon at a home in the 5800 block of Ponderosa Way, near Russell Road and Jones Boulevard. 
Shortly after 11 p.m. that night, 13-year-old Marina Momcheva shot herself at a home in the 2100 block of Dragon Claw Lane, near Lake Mead and Holly­wood boulevards. She died from her injuries five nights later. Marina was an eighth-grader at Bailey Middle School. 
Lisa Teele, supervisor for the Metropolitan Police Department's Abuse and Neglect Detail, strongly believes adults have a responsibility to secure firearms to keep children safe. She told the Las Vegas Review-Journal as much before and after the two child suicide cases were submitted to the district attorney's office.
She said Kameron's mother saw him go upstairs. Two minutes later, she heard a gunshot. The boy had retrieved the gun from the master bedroom. Chrysanthis said the gun was not secured
In Marina's shooting, Chrysanthis said police submitted a case against her mother and father. She said Marina's father was home during the shooting. 
Chrysanthis added that Marina apparently picked up the unsecured gun from a kitchen counter. She shot herself in a bathroom. 
The child's father apparently asked Marina's sibling for a glass of water about 11 p.m. Minutes later, he heard a gunshot. 
Chrysanthis said the family kept the gun in the kitchen "out in the open to protect themselves from the outside." 

(italics was added to the quotes)

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

(images taken from HERE and HERE)

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