6th Grade Boy 'Fatally Shoots 16-Year-Old Sister & Himself' With His Dad's Gun

An absolutely heartbreaking story has come out of Washington: a 12-year-old boy reportedly shot dead his 16-year-old sister before taking his own life. The incident took place back in June, but Benton County officials only recently revealed that this was no accident. The boy, who was from a family of avid hunters and who, himself, took great interest in the sport, allegedly used his father's gun to commit the murder-suicide.

Ethan and Kaitlin Austin were found by their stepfather in the teen girl's bedroom on June 9. Kaitlin reportedly suffered from several gunshot wounds to her torso and head, while Ethan died from a single gunshot to his head, according to police.


Ethan, who was a Boy Scout, was reportedly allowed to go on hunting trips and handle weapons as long as an adult was present. On this occasion, he reportedly had no trouble getting access to the family's gun, which was kept in a safe that he could open.

Now, here's the part that makes zero sense: police just can't come up with a motive behind this alleged murder-suicide. They ruled out mental illness. They say Ethan and Kaitlin were not fighting at the time and that they don't think he planned to attack her. Toxicology reports came back and showed that neither sibling had taken drugs or alcohol prior to the incident. Every single member of the family has been described as "nice."

Kaitlin was a pitcher for her school's state championship softball team and the children's family described Ethan as a boy with a "caring and loving heart" who enjoyed spending time with his father. They have been survived by their parents, Cyndi and Drew, and sister, Rachel.

So, what could have happened here? Was Ethan playing with the gun? Did he assume it didn't contain bullets? It just doesn't make sense -- and, of course -- having a motive won't bring back either of these children.

What do you suspect happened here?


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