9-year-old boy killed in accidental Durham shooting

Boy dies in Durham when siblings were apparently playing with a loaded gun (WTVD)
April 30, 2014 7:42:32 AM PDT
Durham investigators want to know who owned the gun that killed 9-year-old Christian Pittman, a student at Glenn Elementary in Durham.

Police and paramedics responded to a 911 call for help at 412 Macon Street Monday night. But, Pittman had already succumbed to his gunshot wound.

His older brother, Deeshawn Magwood, 19, said their mother had left the home to run an errand. She instructed Pittman and his 12-year-old brother to take baths and prepare for bed. But, she returned to crime scene tape surrounding her home and the heartbreaking news her son was killed in an accidental shooting.

"She broke her back working two jobs to take care of us," said Magwood, wiping away tears. "Now one of us is gone. It's not fair. It's not. I just wish I could've been prevented it."

Pittman's family said the two boys were playing with the weapon when it fired. They believe the weapon belongs to a family friend whose whereabouts are unknown at this time.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez issued a public statement shortly after the shooting, urging gun owners to practice gun safety.

"There are free gun locks available from the county," said Chief Lopez. "This need not happen and it's a shame that it has. We're going to continue investigating it and identify who owns or who is responsible for securing that firearm and we're going to take the appropriate action."

The Durham Public School system also issued a statement about the rising third grader.

"Christian and his family are in our thoughts and prayers," wrote DPS Spokesperson Chip Sudderth. ;"Durham Public Schools counselors will be available for our students and staff to help us cope with this sad news."

Meanwhile, Pittman's family is coping with his loss. The 9-year old regularly attended church with his grandfather. He always greeted friends and family with warm, welcoming smile.

His mother declined to comment on the gun and its owner, but offered a message of her own.

"Tell people to hold their children close," she said. "Tell them you love them. You never know when it'll be the last time."


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