Two young cousins from Missouri were livestreaming when one fatally shot the other before she killed herself, police and a relative said.
St. Louis police identified the children as Paris Harvey, 12, and her cousin Kuaron Harvey, 14, both of St. Louis.
Officers responded to a call about a shooting in the 1000 block of Spruce Street at 2 a.m. Friday , the police department said.
The "victim and suspect were located inside a residence suffering from puncture wounds," police said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police classified the incident as a murder-suicide, but family members say it was a tragic accident.
Paris’ mother, Shinise Harvey, told NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis that she let her daughter go to the apartment for a family party celebrating March birthdays. Harvey said Kuaron is the son of her brother, the station reported.
She said the kids were making a video on Instagram Live in which Paris was playing with the gun, “but it went off and hit” Kuaron.
Paris “dropped the gun, and it fell, and it went off, to my knowledge. And then when she picked it up, she picked it up by the barrel and it went off. That’s all I know. ... It was not a suicide. It was just a freak accident,” she told KSDK.
Harvey said she didn’t know how her daughter got hold of the gun.
“We’ve got to look out for each other. We’re a family, and they’re young,” Harvey said.
It was not clear Monday where the gun came from or whether charges would be filed in connection with the deaths.
The investigation continues, and police did not disclose further details.
Police shared a tribute to the children on social media over the weekend.
“We are sending our heartfelt condolences to the family of 12-year-old Paris Harvey and 14-year-old Kuaron Harvey who tragically passed away on 3/25/22,” the police department wrote.