In a heartbreaking tragedy that parents are labelling as an accident, a 12-year-old Missouri girl fatally shot her 14-year-old male cousin before shooting herself at a birthday party, which was captured during an Instagram Live stream.
The description of the dreadful shooting by St Louis Police initially labelled the incident as a murder-suicide, but the children’s family stopped reports of it being a murder-suicide and instead described the horrific incident as a “freak accident”.
The shooting that happened on Friday took place at the Cupples Station Loft Apartments at South 10th and Spruce Street, a house the family rented to celebrate birthdays. At the event, 12-year-old Paris Harvey, shot her 14-year-old cousin, Kuaron Harvey and then shot herself.
After the police arrived shortly after 2:00 am, Kuaron and Paris, whose mother and father are siblings, were pronounced dead at the scene.
“It was no murder. It wasn’t a suicide. It was a freak accident. It happened,” Shinise Harvey, Paris’ 35-year-old mother, said while speaking to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
While Paris’ grandmother, Susan Dyson, saw the video that the children were making in the downtown apartment’s bathroom, Shinise Harvey did not watch the video herself, but she said relatives had described the recording to her. Harvey also stated that the children were “trying to be too hip” in the Livestream.
Relatives have said that in the video Kuaron was shot in the head and then Paris, who reached for the gun, was also wounded in the head by the gun accidentally going off again.
According to Dyson’s statement to Post-dispatch, the children were not arguing, they were playing with the gun, which they never should have done, and then the firearm “went off by mistake”.
Relatives have described the children’s relationship as having a close bond in which they always referred to each other as brother and sister. The children were also said to frequently facetime each other, making videos together, pulling pranks and rapping. The children were also described by Paris’ aunt, Angel Dyson, as acting “older than they were”.
The mourning family described Paris as a funny seventh-grader who had a beautiful voice. Paris was one of nine children, and she was also said to love having her hair and nails done. Kuaron was described to be a goofy boy in eighth grade who was great at doing backflips. Both children were first denied permission to attend the party that was being hosted for teenagers and younger adults within the family, but after begging their mothers they were allowed to go.
Meanwhile, police are investigating who the firearm was registered to and the gun was believed to have been taken to the party by Kuaron. It has also not been confirmed if there will be any charges filed against the adults who were in charge of the children or their parents.
“No matter how good we try to raise our kids they still are going to venture off,” Shinise Harvey also stated.
Relatives have since launched fundraisers to cover funeral costs. While Paris’ sister, Tatyina Gilliehan, set up a GoFundMe, Kuaron’s mother, Dara Harvey, also set up a fundraiser.
The children were posted online in a tribute by the police that read: “We are sending our heartfelt condolences to the family of 12-year-old Paris Harvey and 14-year-old Kuaron Harvey who tragically passed away on 3/25/22.”
Watch the tragic incident below