A Somerset, Kentucky, grandmother died Wednesday night after a teenage relative reportedly shot her from the back seat.
One of her grandsons, an 18-year-old, was driving as another grandson and their cousin were in the backseat. The boys, ages 12 and 17, were playing around with a muzzle-loading pistol when it went off and shot Eutta Phelps, 68, in the head, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
WKYT reported that the driver pulled over and called 911. Paramedics rushed Phelps to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Pulaski County Deputy Karl Clinard told the Herald-Leader that the boys didn’t know the gun was loaded at the time. Police are currently treating the shooting as an accident, according to WKYT.
A news release indicated that the teen sitting behind Phelps fired the pistol and shot her. However, authorities haven’t disclosed whether the grandson or his cousin was holding the gun when it went off.
“One, keep firearms out of the reach of juveniles and those not well-versed in gun safety,” Clinard told the Commonwealth Journal. “Two, treat all firearms as if they were loaded at all times. Three, don’t point them at anything you don’t intend to shoot.”
The deputy also said the family is “torn to pieces” over Wednesday’s fatal incident.
“It’s just a tragic set of circumstances,” he commented.
Detectives said they don’t know who owns the pistol at this point. It is also unclear if the gun owner will face charges, WTVQ reported.
This is an ongoing investigation.
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