An innocent children’s game turned deadly Sunday in Eagan, Minnesota, when a 15-year-old boy fatally shot his 13-year-old brother in the chest, police say.
The Associated Press reports the two boys were playing “cops and robbers” when the older brother found his father’s unloaded 9mm pistol.
“At some point, the firearm was loaded, then thought to be unloaded by one of the boys,” according to a police department news release, quoted in Minnesota’s Star Tribune.
As the brothers continued to play, the older brother pulled the trigger, unintentionally firing the weapon at his brother, Suhayb Jamal Hassan, Detective Desiree Schroepfer told the paper.
The 15-year-old, who was not named in reports, called police and said his brother was running and fell on a knife, stabbing himself. When officers arrived and found Suhayb Hassan bleeding and unresponsive, the older boy confessed to the shooting.
“I believe at the time he was very scared because he knew he wasn’t supposed to be playing with the firearm. And he was concerned that he was going to get in trouble for that,” Schroepfer said.
Police said no arrests were made as a result of the incident and said they don’t anticipate any future arrests.
The department news release said the event appeared to be an accident but “upon completion of this investigation, the facts we gather will be presented to the Dakota County attorney’s office for review.”
Schroepfer declined to give any specifics about where the gun was found in relation to the ammunition, but said, “It’s always important to make sure that you store firearms properly.”
The victim was a student at nearby Black Hawk Middle School where officials said counselors would be on hand this week to talk to students.
An 11-year-old sister was at home with the brothers at the time of the shooting. She was not injured, police said.