Teen Dies After Accidentally Shooting Self with Air Rifle

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A boy from Pennsylvania died Tuesday after he accidentally shot himself in the chest with an air rifle.

Tristin 'Ty' Yonkin, 15, was at his friends house that day when the seemingly harmless gun killed him. Police are saying his death was accidental.

"Ty was a good friend, a good player, a great student and his family will miss him. So will the team," Ty's soccer coach Jeff Brinker said. "He brought a lot to the community."

Alicia Farrington, his neighbor, said, "He has everything to live for and it was cut short with a little accident."

Farrington was unaware that he could be fatally wounded by an air rifle.

"I didn't think someone would pass away from a hit with a pellet gun," she said. Yonkin likely did not know this either.

Gun experts, however, note the dangers of anything with the word "gun."

"That's the exact key word, gun. Whether it's a real gun, soft air, it's a gun," Thomas Engle, owner of Hunter Warehouse Gun Shop said. "It does fire projectile. Any weapon that fires projectile can be dangerous. It's not a toy. It has to be handled properly, safely. Parents should have supervision for their children that are using them."

Owner of National Sporting Goods, Adam Kordes, said, "It's not uncommon anymore to see pellet guns that shoot 1200, 1500, 1600 feet per second, which a lot of people don't realize is significantly faster than a standard velocity 22 long rifle."

A memorial was held for Ty on Friday at his high school near Mill Hall, Penn. 

Sources: Daily Mail, WNEP