8-Year-Old Boy's Shooting Death Was A Suicide, Coroner's Office Says

Officials in Clark County, Nevada, have ruled the Oct. 10 death of an 8-year-old Las Vegas boy a suicide.

Clayton James Singleton, 8, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The Clark County coroner’s office said Nov. 4 that the boy was the youngest person to have taken his own life in the county since 2005. 

Clayton’s body was found in a southwest Las Vegas residence on Oct. 10. Police Lt. James Weiskopf told the Review-Journal at the time that the boy appeared to have died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound from a handgun. He said there did not appear to have been any adult supervision in the home at the time of his death. 

Police said Clayton’s 6-year-old sister ran to a neighbor’s house and asked that someone call for help. Neighbors, who did not want to be named, said that the young girl was screaming about blood at the time.

Officials still say they believe there was no adult or babysitter in the home at the time of Clayton’s death. They believe the gun belonged to someone who lived in the house. 

A man at the home told the Review-Journal recently that Clayton’s death “wasn’t a suicide.” When asked to identify himself, he declined. When asked if he was a family member, he reportedly told the paper that he is “more than that.”

Clayton’s death remains under investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s abuse and neglect detail, a department representative said on Nov. 4. 

The department is expected to consult with the district attorney’s office to decide what will happen next with the case. 

In a disclosure form, dated Oct. 27, Family Services indicated that the agency had no prior contact with Clayton or his family’s household. A similar form, dated Oct. 12, indicates that Clayton’s sister had been removed from the home. 

Suicides are uncommon for children under the age of 10 in the U.S., according to data from 2013 collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For individuals between the ages of 10 and 14, however, suicide was the third leading cause of death in 2013.

Sources: Las Vegas Review-Journal(2), CDC / Photo credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal (2)


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