According to her distraught family, a 14-year-old Missouri girl accidentally shot her 12-year-old cousin dead and then committed suicide while live-streaming on Instagram Live at a birthday party.
The incident on Friday, in which 12-year-old Paris Harvey shot her 14-year-old cousin, Kuaron Harvey, before shooting herself, was initially described as a murder-suicide by St Louis Police.
However, the children’s family has since described the horrific shooting that occurred at a house rented by the family to celebrate birthdays as a “freak accident.”
On Friday, police were called to the Cupples Station Loft Apartments at South 10th and Spruce Street shortly after 2 a.m.
Kuaron and Paris, who mother and father are siblings, were declared dead at the scene. Family members have rejected claims of a murder-suicide, instead calling it a “freak accident.”
‘It was no murder. It wasn’t a suicide,’ Paris’ mother, 35-year-old Shinise Harvey, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. ‘It was a freak accident. It happened.’
Harvey stated that she had not seen the video, but that it had been described to her by relatives.
She stated that the cousins were ‘trying to be too hip’ when they streamed live from the bathroom of their downtown apartment prior to the tragic incident.
Susan Dyson, Paris’ grandmother, said she saw the two cousins’ Instagram Live video.
After Kuaron was shot in the head, Paris reached for the weapon, which may have misfired, injuring her in the head as well, according to relatives.
‘It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that,’ Dyson told the Post-dispatch.
‘They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake.’
The gun has been believed to have been brought to the party by Kuaron, but detectives are still looking into who the gun was registered to.
It is unclear whether law enforcement intends to charge any of the adults in charge of the children or their parents.