EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) –- No charges are expected in the death of a 10-year-old El Dorado Hills boy who was struck by a friend’s pellet gun on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is just one of those, it’s a tragedy, an unfortunate accident,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz.
The Sacramento County Coroner’s office on Wednesday identified the 10-year-old as Keegan Swinney. Keegan was a student at Silva Valley Elementary School, where officials brought in grief counselors Wednesday.
“We’re devastated today,” Superintendent David Roth told CBS13. “People are quite shocked.”
The sheriff’s office said Keegan was shot with a pellet gun by a neighbor, also 10, while playing at the neighbor’s house. They were apparently shooting at garbage cans when Keegan was accidentally hit by the neighbor’s Remmington Airmaster .177 caliber pellet gun.
The two lived across the street from each other on Waterman Road and the families are good friends, a sheriff’s office spokesman said.
Keegan ran back to his house and told family members what happened and then collapsed, the sheriff’s office said. Family members administered first aid and medics responded.
Keegan was taken to Mercy Folsom for treatment but died there. He was shot in the torso but the exact cause of death is pending an autopsy.
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has issued warnings about BB guns or pellet guns. The commission reports an average of four deaths per year are caused by the guns, which many people call “toy guns”.
Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that the power of some of these guns should not be underestimated and that children with “toy” guns should never be left unsupervised.
Golmitz said he wasn’t aware of any other pellet gun deaths ever in El Dorado County. Whether the guns are safe for kids to play with, he said that’s up to the parents.
“Some 10-year-olds are an appropriate age to play with them,” he said.