A 12-year-old girl accidentally killed her 14-year-old cousin, then took her own life, as their grandmother watched on livestream, according to reports.
Paris Harvey and Kuaron Harvey were reportedly playing with a gun while making an Instagram Live video in St. Louis on Friday morning, when the tragedy occurred.
According to relatives, the cousins — who were raised like brother and sister — were at a joint birthday party at an apartment the family had rented for the event on Spruce street.
Family members said Kuaron and Paris were alone in a bathroom, making a video in the mirror, when the gun went off — and Kuaron was struck in the head.
The family told the St Louis Dispatch that the video showed Paris then reaching for the gun.
Both children were found dead with gunshots to the head. It is not clear if the second shot was intentional or also accidental; the family insist it was the latter.
“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that,” Paris’s grandmother Susan Dyson — who saw the video — told the publication.
“They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake.”
Police initially reported the incident as a murder-suicide; but Paris’s devastated mother Shinise Harvey, 35, disputes this.
“It was no murder. It wasn’t a suicide,” she said. “It was a freak accident. It happened.”
She told the Dispatch that she had not watched the video. She said the children were “trying to be too hip.”
Shinise was not at the party, which she said was only for teens and young adults. She said she and Kuaron’s mom were initially not going to let them go — but relented after the children begged.
Kuaron’s mother and Paris’s father are siblings. Family members believe the gun belonged to Kuaron, the outlet reported.
“No matter how good we try to raise our kids, they still are going to venture off,” Shinise said.
Police have not yet released the findings of their investigation. In an incident report, they said both children were found unconscious and not breathing after officers responded to reports of a shooting, just after 2 AM. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
St Louis Metropolitan Police Department did identify both victims in a condolence post on Facebook.
A GoFundMe for each family has been set up here and here.