MARRERO – A nine-year-old boy is dead and his 18-year-old cousin is behind bars after the boy was shot once in the head inside his Marrero home.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said the victim and his cousin were in a bedroom in a house in the 2000 block of Rue Racine just before 11 p.m. on February 13 when the shot was fired.
The gun belonged to 18-year-old Kamone Thomas, Lopinto said.
Thomas initially told investigators that the nine-year-old had shot himself in the head, but then changed his story several times.
“After several different stories, Mr. Thomas actually did admit that the nine-year-old was playing with the gun,” Lopinto said.
Thomas told detectives that he was “playfully” trying to disarm his cousin when the gun went off, striking the child in the head.
The shooting has been classified as accidental, and it appears unlikely that the trigger was pulled either in anger or by the boy intentionally, Lopinto said.
After the shooting, Thomas panicked and threw the gun into a canal.
Investigators are currently searching for the gun.
Thomas has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide, obstruction of justice, and possession of marijuana.