New Haven PD say death of 8-year-old in fatal shooting ruled a homicide; have not ruled if death was intentional or accidental

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Police announced Thursday that the death of an 8-year-old boy in a fatal shooting on Aug. 6 has been ruled a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In a clarification Friday, New Haven PD stated they have not determined if the homicide was intentional or accidental.

New Haven Police responded to the Howard Avenue residence that night for the report of a person shot. New Haven Fire Department and American Medical Response paramedics were on scene and confirmed the victim had sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the preliminary report, “the investigation reveal(ed) the shooting occurred inside the residence and the child’s injuries were a result of an accidental firearm discharge.”

News 8’s Stephanie Simoni spoke with well-known defense attorney Tara Knight about this tragic case.

She says, by definition a homicide is the killing of one person by the hands of another. But there are several types of homicides and all of them focus on intent.

“It’s an 8-year-old child, so this is going to be given a lot of scrutiny by the authorities,” Knight explained. “And if this is, in fact, a homicide – meaning that this child died at the hands of another person – the question now becomes ‘what kind of homicide was it?’ In other words, was it a murder? A murder is when someone intentionally kills another person. Was it a manslaughter? One type of manslaughter is when you recklessly act in a way that endangers someone’s life…Another person caused the death. It doesn’t mean it was intentional, reckless, or negligent. We don’t know until we have more facts.”

On Friday, New Haven Police issued the clarification on the ruling of a homicide, saying, “a determination of homicide means the child’s death was not a result of his own actions and not due to natural causes.  The Medical Examiner’s finding does not indicate if the death was intentional or accidental.  The ongoing NHPD investigation is tasked with making that determination among other investigative findings.”

New Haven PD Chief Otoniel Reyes offered his condolences to the family.

According to New Haven Police, they are continuing to investigate the death. Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6304.

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