Boy Found Dead in Phoenix Elementary School Shot Himself, Police Say
A 14-year-old boy found dead inside a school bathroom in Phoenix shot himself, police said this week.
“The investigation in the case indicates this incident was a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound by the 14-year-old 7th grader. The weapon was recovered and has been identified as belonging to a family member,” the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Officials would have a crisis counseling team at the school until further notice to assist students and staff members as needed, the sheriff added.
The death has shaken the local community, according to news reports.
One of the people asking questions was Codi Zetich, whose daughter is a third-grader at Coronado Elementary School, where the suicide occurred.
“There’s lots of questions,” he told Arizona Central. “Why? How did it get that far? How can I protect my daughter in the future?”
Amanda Griggs said she kept her son home on Jan. 9, the day the death happened, due to sickness. She told him about the suicide because he would have heard about it anyway.
“I told him what happened because he was going to hear about it at school and his only response was, ‘Why?’ ” she told the media outlet.
“I just told him that I didn’t know and that, now, no one will ever know. He was shocked but had nothing else to say.”
No charges are pending against the family member who owns the gun, a spokeswoman for the sheriff told USA Today.
The suicide rate has increased in recent years among children between 10 years and 14 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a November 2016 report, the agency said suicides were 0.9 per 100,000 kids in 2007. As of 2014, that figure was up to 2.1 per 100,000 kids—or 425 total deaths that year.