Maximilian Mendoza Chula Vista California boy, 12, fatally shoots self by accident after friend brings gun to sleepover.
Relatives said they overheard a gunshot around 9 a.m., only to then find the boy bleeding, the outlet reported.
His mother, Aida Mendoza, said she held her ‘baby boy’ in her arms as they waited for paramedics to arrive at the home,
He was taken to a nearby hospital, only to succumb to his injuries, the Chula Vista Police Dept said in a release.
Police seek to determine the owner of the weapon
‘I miss him,’ his mom told the latimes. ‘He had a great heart — and a big heart.’
Investigators questioned the 15-year-old boy who brought the gun to the home but released him.
Police are investigating how the teen got access to the weapon and who owns it.
Not immediately clear is what led to the ‘friend’ bringing the weapon to the sleepover.
Loved ones gathered on Monday to remember Max, who recently graduated from Rogers Elementary School.
‘It’s surreal. It’s like, who goes home and thinks their 12-year-old brother is gone?’ one of Max’s sisters, Macy Mendoza, told Fox5 San Diego. ‘He was only 12, you know? So much to live for.’
Although no arrests have been made, San Diego attorney and legal analyst Dan Eaton told CBS San Diego a felony charge called ‘criminal storage of a firearm in the first degree’ could be brought up.
‘A person can be subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of as long as three years,’ Eaton said. ‘It’s not just parents. It’s any adult. If you have a firearm in your home and it is reasonably likely that a child is going to have access to that firearm, lock it up. Keep it in a secure place because if you don’t, potentially, you could face criminal charges.’
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Mendoza’s funeral costs.