DA: Boy, 11, accidentally shot by younger brother while visiting relatives in Allentown

It all began when the two boys and their family unexpectedly stopped at a relative's home in the 600 block of North Front Street.

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Thursday, December 29, 2022
DA: Boy, 11, accidentally shot by brother while visiting relatives
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A tragic series of events led to the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, investigators say.

ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A tragic series of events led to the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, investigators say.

The office of Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin said in an update Wednesday that the child was shot by his 10-year-old brother while they were visiting relatives.

It all began when the two boys, their older brother and their parents unexpectedly stopped at a relative's home in the 600 block of North Front Street.

Inside that home was the relative's 24-year-old son, who the D.A.'s office said was cleaning two 9mm handguns.

The 24-year-old, who the D.A. said legally owns the guns, had them out of a lock box because he had been recently shooting and planned to clean them, investigators said.

When he heard the boys arrive upstairs, investigators say he attempted to quickly hide the guns because the boys might be coming down to play video games, as they sometimes did when they visited.

The boys did indeed go down to play video games, authorities say, and the 24-year-old cousin went upstairs to visit with the rest of the family.

A short time later a gunshot was heard, the D.A.'s office said, and the 11-year-old boy was found to be seriously injured.

Rescuers responded to the home around 7:24 p.m. and rushed the child to Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest where he died.

The D.A. said there will be no charges filed against either the victim's 10-year-old brother or the 24-year-old cousin.

"While a case can be made that the guns should have been placed into a lock box, which was available, the investigation has disclosed that the owner did not want the boys to even see the guns and he made a good faith effort to hurriedly hide them," the D.A.'s office said in a statement. "Unfortunately they were discovered and this tragic event occurred."