Moral Low Ground


12-Year-Old Alabama Boy William Paris Accidentally Shot Dead by His Cousin

January 9, 2013 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 2 Comments

A 12-year-old Alabama boy was accidentally shot and killed by his cousin, who was showing off a new shotgun he’d gotten for Christmas.

William Paris of Pleasant Valley was shot dead by his cousin, also age 12, at the cousin’s home on Macon Johnson Drive on Tuesday afternoon. The boys were playing outside on a trampoline when Paris’ cousin went into the house to retrieve the shotgun so he could show off the prized Christmas gift.

Unbeknownst to the boy, the gun was loaded and when he pulled the trigger he shot Paris in his chest. Jacksonville Emergency Medical Services and a helicopter responded to the incident.

“The injuries were too severe and the young man was pronounced dead at the Jacksonville hospital,” Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson told the Anniston Star.

Amerson said there was an adult present in the home when the shooting occurred, but was cooking dinner in the kitchen.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” Amerson told the Star. “The boy described his cousin as his best friend.”

The shooter will not be charged due to the accidental nature of the killing.

Paris is at least the seventh child to die from being shot in the United States in 2013.

On Tuesday, Brendalyz Morales, 15, was accidentally shot dead by her own brother in their Milwaukee, Wisconsin home.

On Monday morning, 14-year-old Maurice Edmonds II and his mother, 47-year-old Sandra Palmer, were shot and killed in Greensboro, North Carolina.

On Sunday, 16-year-old Anna Karam, who was 4 months pregnant, was shot and killed in Akron, Ohio. Her friend, 19-year-old Jessica Halman, was also shot in the head but survived.

Last Friday, Melanie Reyes of Ocala, Florida shot and killed her 6-month-old son Jonah Mendoza before turning the gun on herself and pulling the trigger. She survived but was severely injured. Reyes was taken off life support and pronounced dead on Tuesday.

On January 3, Aaliyah Boyer, 10, of Manheim, Pennsylvania was taken off life support and pronounced dead three days after getting struck in the head by a stray bullet fired during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Also on January 3, Shukur Brown, 16, turned himself in to Flint, Michigan police after confessing to accidentally shooting his best friend, 15-year-old Gianni Herron, to death on New Year’s Eve.

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  1. MommaJanuary 10, 2013 at 3:32 amReply

    Quote-“Paris is at least the seventh child to die as a result of gun violence in the United States in 2013.”

    While this story is tragic, shame on you for grouping this terrible accident in the same group as murders. This was not “gun violence” but a terrible accident. Sure, someone is to blame for allowing a child to have access to a gun, unsupervised, but he did not mean to shoot him. NOT the same as the other murders you grouped this story with. Another media attempt at convincing people to ban guns.
    My thoughts go out to the families.

    • Brett WilkinsJanuary 10, 2013 at 10:35 amReplyAuthor

      Brendalyz Morales’ brother did not murder her, it was an accident. Aaliyah Boyer was not murdered, she was hit by a stray bullet fired in the air from somewhere else while celebrating the New Year. Gianni Herron was not murdered, he was accidentally shot by his best friend. That being said, after considering the dictionary definition of violence, I must concede that you are right about that word and I have edited the story to more accurately reflect what happened in this case. The families are always first on our mind as well and I am confident you will not find an ounce of editorializing in any of these tragic stories, especially now that I have changed the word “gun violence” to “firearm death.” Thank you for reading and commenting.

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