JACKSON, OHIO: There might never be an explanation for why a 12-year-old boy shot his 9-year-old half brother and then himself, a police chief said Friday.
Each boy had a single, fatal gunshot wound to the head, and Jackson Chief Carl Eisnaugle said it’s not clear whether the first shooting was intentional.
“Whether or not it’s an accident would be extremely hard to determine,” Eisnaugle told the the Associated Press.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever know,” he said.
Police say the boys, 12-year-old Austin Wiseman and 9-year-old Blake Campbell, lived at their grandparents’ home, where the shootings occurred Wednesday in an upstairs bedroom. Authorities say the grandparents were away at the time, and that they don’t believe anyone else was involved in the shootings. A .44-caliber handgun was recovered at the scene.
Coroner Dr. Gregory Hawker said full investigation results might not be known for six weeks or more. The Franklin County coroner’s office conducted an autopsy and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is analyzing evidence from the scene.
Authorities said the grandparents had left the home to take care of some personal business but talked to the boys by phone at about 10 a.m. It’s believed the shootings happened at about 11 a.m.
A man at the home who identified himself as an uncle said he no comment Thursday afternoon.
Shirley Causey, who said her grandson was a cousin and frequent playmate of the older boy, said Austin was polite and protective of his younger half brother. She also described the grandparents as very loving.
Jackson is a city of about 7,000 people in mostly rural Appalachian Ohio, 65 miles south of Columbus.