Girl, 12, kills cousin then herself while playing with gun on Instagram Live in ‘freak accident’

Girls’ grandmother says the gun ‘just went off by mistake’ when they were playing in Missouri

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Monday 28 March 2022 18:23 BST
Mother of 12-year-old girl who killed cousin then herself in St. Louis speaks out
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A 12-year-old girl in Missouri reportedly shot dead her cousin then killed herself while playing with a gun as they filmed themselves on Instagram Live.

Paris Harvey and her 14-year-old cousin Kuaron Harvey were at a downtown St Louis apartment that the family had rented to celebrate birthdays.

The children were recording a video while playing with a gun in front of a mirror inside the bathroom when the gun was accidentally fired, according to the family, which said it was a “freak accident”.

Police are investigating the deaths, which they had initially described as a murder-suicide. The St Louis Metropolitan police department on Saturday posted a tribute and offered condolences to their family.

“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that,” Susan Dyson, the girls’ grandmother, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. “They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake.”

The video showed the bullet hitting Kuaron and Paris reached for the gun when it again went off and hit her. Both children were reportedly shot in the head.

According to the family, the gun belonged to Kuaron.

“It was no murder. It wasn’t a suicide. It was a freak accident. It happened,” said Paris’ 35-year-old mother Shinise Harvey.

Ms Harvey said she had not watched the video but others explained it to her. The cousins were “trying to be too hip”, she said.

The bereaved family described Paris, a seventh-grader and one of nine children, as someone with a beautiful voice who loved getting her hair and nails done. Kuaron was a “goofy” eighth-grader, they said.

The duo would often record videos together and pull pranks on each other. “No matter how good we try to raise our kids they still are going to venture off,” Ms Harvey added.

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