SAN DIEGO – The investigation into the accidental shooting death of a 10-year-old boy in Scripps Ranch continued Wednesday with more answers than questions.
Fourth grader Eric Klyaz was playing Tuesday afternoon in a garage with a 9-year old friend, who lived in the home, when they apparently found a gun, police said. Klyaz was shot in the chest and died from the injury.
As of Wednesday, investigators said they were not sure who pulled the trigger or how it went off.
“At this point, it is not clear. That’s why we are interviewing the young girl,” said Lt Jorge Duran of the SDPD homicide division.
Shocked neighbors told Fox5 the home on Ivy Hill Drive in Scripps Ranch was known as the “club house” and a safe hangout for the kids. They’re wondering why a gun would be left where children could find it.
“It’s very upsetting to know that a thing like that can happen because the adults are not responsible,” said Donadio. “Put those guns in a safe place and lock them out of the reach of children.”
Investigators confirm the gun was in the garage when the kids found it, but they won’t say whom it was registered to. They said it’s too early to tell if any criminal charges will be filed.
“I know when you purchase a gun, you have to have a lock for it,” said Lt Duran. “It’s a deadly weapon, so you want to keep it in a secure area.”
According to a Cal Western Law professor Alex Simpson, if evidence shows the owner was negligent, under California gun safety laws they could face criminal or civil charges.
“They could be liable for not storing a gun properly, keeping it outside where a10-year-old could get it,” said Simpson. “But if there is any prosecution it will depend on how the parents were acting and characterize the interaction between the kids.”
The elementary school Klyaz attended had counselors on campus Wednesday to help students and parents cope with the tragedy.
“It’s got to be a scary thing for kids,” said one parent. “Especially the older ones because they understand.”