BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A 16-year-old boy died after being shot Saturday afternoon in what Bridgeport police described as a “tragic and isolated incident.”
Officers responded around 1:30 p.m. to a home in the 300 block of Pacific Street to a report of a person shot in the face. When officers arrived, they found the boy inside the residence suffering from a headshot wound.
The teen was taken to a local hospital and was admitted into the intensive care unit, where police said he died on Sept. 11.
Authorities said a preliminary investigation suggested that the 16-year-old and a 15-year-old girl were “handling” the gun when it went off, resulting in a gunshot wound to his head.
Police have not released the identities of the two teens.
A man who claimed to be the property owner spoke with News 8 and said he’d seen the teens together often. The property owner did not want to share his name.
“The [boy] is a good kid. I’ve seen him, know him in the neighborhood,” the property owner said. “The girl, so far, I’ve seen her she’s a good person, too.”
Bridgeport Public Schools confirmed to News 8 that the 16-year-old was a student at Bassick High School and played on the varsity soccer team. School leaders declined to comment on camera but told News 8 the teen “was a good kid.”
Neighbors said they were shocked the shooting happened on their so-called quiet street.
“They’re good people,” said the property owner. “Everybody around here tries to live as family around here.”
“Oh my God,” said Hope Shand, who lives across the street from where the shooting happened. “It’s very sad. At that age, where did they get that gun?”
Police are investigating how the teens got a hold of the gun, who owns the gun and the circumstances that led up to the shooting.
Police told News 8 on Tuesday that it is too early to tell if the shooting was an accident.
“I can’t imagine those parents and families, how they’re coping,” Shand said. “It’s a hard loss.”
Kristin Song understands the heartbreak. Her teenage son, Ethan, was killed with an unsecured gun while at a friend’s house in 2017. Song said the latest incident could’ve been prevented.
“There’s absolutely no way that those children should have had any access to a gun,” Song said. Kristin Song runs the Ethan Miller Song Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to keep children safe.
Song spoke to News 8 from Washington D.C., where she’s lobbying for stricter laws around safe gun storage and guidelines about teaching gun safety.
“If we can get some kind of federal legislation passed, so that we can create a cultural shift, so that it becomes second nature for gun owners to just secure their weapons if it’s not in their immediate control,” Kirstin Song said. “We are going to drastically reduce the death in our children.”
Bridgeport Public Schools said crisis response services are being offered at Bassick High School.
Police said no charges have been filed, but the incident is still under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Holtz at 203-581-5239 or the Bridgeport Police Tips line at 203-576-TIPS.
Stay with News 8 for updates.