CINCINNATI (AP) — An armed man who believed he was confronting an intruder in his home Tuesday morning fatally shot his 14-year-old son, who he thought was on his way to school, police said.
“These types of tragedies are so horrific, they’re even unimaginable,” Police Chief Eliot Isaac told reporters.
Police said the man thought his son had already caught the bus for school on a snowy morning at around 6:30 a.m., but the teen returned home soon afterward. Police said the man heard a noise in the basement and checked on it with his gun in hand. They said the father fired after apparently being startled, hitting the boy in the neck.
Authorities said the father called 911 and the boy was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he died.
A police officer at the scene told reporters that the boy had apparently decided he wasn’t going to school and returned home through the back door.
Lt. Steve Saunders said police interviewed the father and described him as cooperative. Investigators said the shooting appeared to be accidental.
The Hamilton County prosecutor’s office will review the case to decide whether the father should face any charges, Isaac said.
Isaac, whose city has made reducing gun violence a top priority for 2016, said the shooting underscored some important messages.
He said those who have guns in their homes should get training and make sure they keep them secured.
Referring to indications the boy had planned to skip school, Isaac said children should “tell the truth: make sure your parents know where you are, absolutely.”