A 12-year-old boy has been charged after an 11-year-old boy was shot dead on a remote northern Manitoba First Nation in what one official called a tragic accident.
RCMP said the 12-year-old has been charged with negligence causing death and careless use of a firearm. The boy's father, who is 36 years old, will be charged with careless storage of a firearm, police said. Both have been released from custody.
The shooting happened on Tuesday. Police were first called about it around 7:30 p.m. when someone at the Garden Hill Nursing Station reported that a boy in the community had been shot.
Island Lake RCMP officers went to a home in Garden Hill where they found the 11-year-old with life-threatening injuries. He later died.
During the RCMP investigation, they discovered that three boys — one 12-year-old and two 11-year-olds — were playing in the home when they found an improperly stored firearm. While the 12-year-old was handling it, the gun discharged, police allege.
Garden Hill Chief Dino Flett told The Canadian Press the shooting was a tragic accident.
He said the two boys were friends and called the accused a good kid, who has perfect attendance at school and listens to teachers.
Flett said the community is pulling together. Elders and mental health support workers have been brought in to help students cope, he said.
RCMP continue to investigate.
The community of Garden Hill is about 476 kilometres north of Winnipeg.