A 9-year-old Canton boy examining a gun with a teenaged cousin was accidently shot and later died, authorities said Saturday.
Matthew Schreckengaust was shot late Friday afternoon while handling the gun with his 14-year-old cousin during a visit with his relatives in Minerva, officials said.
“Two young boys inquisitive about a firearm and, unfortunately, this resulted in a horrific tragedy for the family and for our community,” said Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier.
The gun was owned by the father of the teen, he said. Authorities say it appears the boys did not know the firearm was loaded when they were looking at the weapon.
Deputies were called about 5 p.m. Friday to the home on Maplelane Street Southeast immediately after the shooting.
Staff at Aultman Hospital, where the little boy was transported by the Minerva Fire Department, told deputies that Matthew had died of the gunshot wound. Authorities did not release the type or caliber of the firearm. Maier could not immediately say if the firearm had been secured inside the house before the shooting.
Maier said the shooting appears to be accidental but is being investigated.
The evidence is expected to be reviewed by prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges should be brought.
Matthew lived on Eighth Street Northeast in Canton with his mother, Rosa Royal.
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