BRECKENRIDGE — The community of Breckenridge is mourning the loss of a 12-year-old boy who died over the weekend, the result of an accidental gunshot wound.
Counselors from several schools were at the Breckenridge school today (Monday) helping classmates, faculty and staff cope with the tragedy. The boy, whose name was not released, was one of eight seventh-grade students at the school.
"They are a tight-knit bunch of kids, really," said school superintendent Brent Skinner. "Three had been close since preschool, and now one is gone."
The Breckenridge counselor as well as counselors from Southwest and Braymer schools, along with several pastors from the area, were at the school today. Additional counseling services are likely to continue through the rest of the week, Skinner said.
The incident occurred Friday evening. The Caldwell County Sheriff's office received a call at 8:45 p.m. to respond to 58 West Maple in Breckenridge, where it was reported that a juvenile was suffering a gunshot wound. Upon arrival, it was determined that the juvenile mishandled a handgun and had suffered a gunshot wound.
Breckenridge First Responders, Caldwell County Ambulance, the Missouri Highway Patrol, Braymer Police Department, Hamilton Police Department, and the Cameron Police Department responded to the scene. The juvenile was taken to University of Kansas Medical Center by LifeFlight, and died the next day. An investigation is continuing by the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.
In response to the tragedy, the school called a crisis team meeting Saturday morning and opened the school building from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday. Around 30 students visited the school during this time. Additionally, the Methodist church in town was opened to help provide comfort to those suffering the loss.
The school called an all-staff meeting at 7:30 a.m., today.
"We are in the process of working through this," Skinner said. "Keep us in your prayers."