Recently, American citizens are buying guns to protect themselves against the coronavirus. One of these 'coronavirus preppers' was a teenager who accidentally kills his cousin by shooting him.
Background of the shooting
The person one accused of killing his cousin is 19-year-old Anthony Padilla, who acquired the firearm to protect himself about a possible chaos brought about by coronavirus. These people call themselves "coronavirus prepper" wherein some people lined up to buy guns.
The victim of this unfortunate incident is Anthony's cousin Patricio Arroyo, age 13. The younger boy died on the spot from a gunshot wound on Thursday afternoon in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Reports indicate that the cause of the cousin's death was an accidental discharge of a shotgun.
Anthony told the Albuquerque Police Department that he brought the weapon home, pulled the trigger and without checking if the weapon was chambered or not. Whether he knew how to safely operate the shotgun is unknown.
Most experienced gun owners and shooters will check if the safety is engaged or if a loaded shell is chambered in the barrel. Others point the weapon away from anyone or point it up.
Court records reported that Antony told officers that the guns were for home protection because he thought the coronavirus can endanger his personal safety.
Anthony also said that he was taking the weapon home for protection, "due to the coronavirus that was going around," the Albuquerque Journal reports.
How his cousin got blasted two feet away with the shotgun
The family related that they were in the living room when Anthony went out of the bedroom, holding a shotgun that he purchased himself.
Police added that he said the weapon was bought several months earlier from a gun shop. But, he had to hide it under his cousin's bed at his aunt's and uncle's house, the reason is that his parents did not allow guns inside their house.
His parents do not even know he owned a shotgun until he showed it to them.
Anthony claimed that he shot the gun many times, and keep the chamber empty. He also double-checked if the gun is safety when stored.
Patricio's brother said he thought Anthony was playing negligently with the shotgun when he was handling it in the living room.
Padilla told the police, the trigger was pulled by him and nothing happened, he racked the gun and pointed the shotgun at a two-foot distance that blasted his cousin when he pulled the trigger. He got shot squarely in the chest.
A detective added to the court report, "He put the gun down near the front door and began to tell Patricio to 'stay awake' after he realized what he had done...he did not realize the shotgun was loaded."
In the court
In the court filing, the officers went to the scene of the shooting at 2.30 pm, Anthonyy was holding his younger cousin on his lap, trying to stop the bleeding in a van outside the house.
Patricio was dead at the hospital, and Anthony the "coronavirus prepper" who accidentally killed his cousin gets charged with murder.
Related article: Gun Sales Surging in America as Fears Arise in COVID-19 Pandemic