11-Year-Old Boy Shoots Himself with Dad's Gun After Argument About Chores

An 11-year-old boy reportedly committed suicide after an argument about chores. The boy, Samuel Epps of San Tan Valley, Arizona, reportedly ran into his room after an argument with his father about chores and shot himself. Police believe he meant to inflict harm on himself and wasn't just playing with the gun, which belonged to his father, who is a supervisor with the Arizona State University Police Department.


Following an argument about chores, Samuel reportedly ran into a master bedroom and locked the door. His father forced his way into the room and found his son with a gunshot wound to the head.

The boy was still alive when medical personnel arrived after the dad's franti 911 call, but he later died. Said Pinel County Sheriff Paul Babeau:

This child, from our understanding, had no intention to play with the weapon but to harm himself, and so that dramatic decision was made in this young child's mind to likely result in ending his life.

Police say the gun was not secured, not locked and not in a safe. Which is surprising considering the father was in law enforcement and surely had been trained to keep his gun secure. It's unclear if he will face charges.

It's unfathomable that a boy this young could possibly take his life on purpose -- it's unlikely he understood the permanency of what he was doing, or that he would one day not have to do any chores. Or even that, in a couple of hours, he would have regulated his mood and felt back to normal. Samuel had apparently never exhibited signs of depression or mental illness.

Unfortunately young children don't tend to think in terms of "forever," and it's up to adults to protect them from their impulses. But no parent could have expected this, and Samuel's dad deserves compassion at this time too.


Image via AZ Central.com


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