British Columbia

10-year-old accidentally shoots B.C. teen dead

A 10-year-old boy was holding a loaded shotgun when it accidently discharged, killing a 17-year-old teenager on Thursday, according to RCMP in Cranbrook, B.C.

Teen shot to death

11 years ago
Duration 2:03
Police say they may lay charges against the adult owner of a gun that was accidentally fired by a 10-year-old, the CBC's Deborah Goble reports

A 10-year-old boy was holding a loaded shotgun when it accidently discharged, killing a 17-year-old teenager on Thursday, according to RCMP in Cranbrook, B.C.

Police said six teens were hanging out in a house when they started fooling around with a shotgun owned by one of their parents. The gun went off, hitting Michael Voth, 17, who was pronounced dead at the scene, said police.

"The police investigation, to date, indicates that the shooting was an accident. A 10-year-old child was able to access a loaded shotgun, which discharged while he held it in his hands," said a statement released by Cpl. Chris Faulkner.

"Under the Criminal Code of Canada, there are no provisions for a child under the age of 12 years to face criminal charges, nor can their identity be released," he said. 

The investigation is now turning to the owner of the shotgun, who was in the house at the time the shooting took place, he said.

"The matter of the insecure firearm is still part of the police investigation, and it is anticipated that the owner of the firearm may face charges," said Faulkner.

Three of the teens lived in the house and three were visiting. There was no indication of liquor or drug use, said Faulkner.

Faulkner said the teens are devastated and so are the parents of the dead boy.

"The mother of the boy told me, 'You see your son leave the house and you don't think he's never coming back again.' They are distraught, horrified." he said.