A birthday party ended in tragedy when a 12-year-old girl from Missouri in the US accidentally shot her 14-year-old cousin and then herself during an Instagram livestream.
Family members say when the incident happened last Friday, 25 March, Paris Harvey (12) and her cousin, Kuaron Harvey (14), had been playing with the gun at an apartment which had been rented to celebrate the March birthdays in the family.
Police are investigating the case as a murder-suicide, but the family is adamant that it was a tragic accident.
“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that. They were playing with the gun, which they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake,” says Paris’s grandmother, Susan Dyson, who saw the video.
Paris’s mother and Kuaron’s father are siblings and the cousins are said to have been very close.
Relatives who watched the video said it shows Paris dropping the gun, which discharges a round, and picking it up and accidentally pulling the trigger.
Both children were shot in the head.
Paris’ mother, Shinise Harvey (35), didn’t watch the video, but family members had described it to her and she says the kids were “trying to be too hip”.
“It was no murder. It wasn’t a suicide,” she says. “It was a freak accident. It happened.”
Shinise had not attended the party as it was for young adults and teenagers and said she and Kuaron’s mother had not intended to allow them to attend the party.
The cousins begged to go and were eventually allowed to. It’s believed Kuaron had brought the gun to the party, but that has not yet been confirmed by police.
“No matter how well we try to raise our kids, they’re still going to venture off,” says Shinise.
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Paris, who was one of nine children, was described as a girly-girl who loved doing her nails and hair.
Her mother says she was creative and she had “a beautiful voice and spirit”.
Kuaron was a funny chap, relatives say. He was goofy and had a talent for doing backflips from a young age.
SOURCES: CNSNEWS.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK, STLTODAY.COM