Two young boys were found dead on Thursday in their grandparents’ rural Ohio home. Autopsies have revealed that the older of the two, 12-year-old Austin Wiseman, shot and killed his younger half-brother, 9-year-old Blake Campbell, before shooting himself in the head.
Authorities are unsure and perhaps will never know if the incident was a homicide or a tragic accident.
Wiseman and Campbell lived at their grandparents’ home, according to police, and the shooting occurred in an upstairs bedroom. The grandparents, James and Deborah Harris, had left the boys alone at home while they ran errands.
According to Jackson County coroner, Gregory Hawker, the grandparents had talked to the boys by phone at about 10 a.m., which was about an hour before the shooting.
So far, neighbors and friends have only reported that the grandparents were very loving toward their grandsons.
"They are just very sweet people," said Shirley Causey, whose grandson was a good friend of Wiseman’s. "They just loved those boys so much."
Causey also characterized Wiseman as “very protective” of Campbell, and polite and well-behaved when he came over to play with her grandson, Aaron.
Authorities have determined that no one else was home at the time, and that several guns were recovered at the scene, but only a .44-caliber revolver seemed to have been the only loaded weapon.
"This is one of the unspeakable tragedies no community ever wants to deal with," Jackson Mayor Randy Heath told WCMH-TV. "I'm sure a great number of parents and grandparents all went to bed thinking, 'Is there any way we can make our children safer?' And hopefully we'll have some parents thinking maybe we need to take that extra step."
Sources: NY Daily News, Huffington Post