LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas man assumed the boy wrapped in a blanket on his futon was his sleeping cousin. But hours later he realized it was a 14-year-old boy he didn’t know who, police determined Thursday, had been shot while playing with a gun with a friend.
Little Rock police said the boy, TyJuan Woodard, died after he and a 13-year-old friend were playing with a gun that accidentally fired and shot him in the chest Wednesday. The younger boy had covered Woodard’s body with a blanket, then left and spent the night elsewhere without telling anyone what happened, police spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings said.
One of the 13-year-old’s relatives saw someone wrapped in a blanket on the futon Wednesday night. Thinking the boy was a cousin who had fallen asleep, he didn’t disturb him, according to a police report.
A few hours later, though, the man said he realized that the person on the couch wasn’t his cousin. He then picked Woodard up and noticed he wasn’t breathing.
Someone called 911 and when officers arrived, they found the boy lying face-up on the floor, according to the police report. There was blood on his face and chest, and as medics lifted his shirt, they found what looked like a bullet wound.
Police said everyone in the home said they didn’t know the boy or what had happened. Woodard lives elsewhere and had previously run away from home, Hastings said. Hastings said police talked to the 13-year-old Thursday morning.
A woman who said she was the 13-year-old’s grandmother said the boy stayed with his aunt Wednesday night.
“He said he was scared, but I wish he had told me, just told me something,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
The woman said she had never seen Woodard before he was lying on the floor of her home.
“All I could see was blood on his nose,” she said.
The AP is not naming the woman, whose phone number was listed in the police report, so as not to identify her grandson.
Hastings said he wasn’t sure how the boys got a hold of the gun, which belongs to one of the 13-year-old’s relatives. He said they were playing with the gun in a bedroom when it went off and shot the 14-year-old in the chest.
The grandmother said she wasn’t sure who the gun belonged to either.
No charges have been filed, but Hastings said the case will be forwarded to the prosecutor. One of the prosecutors, John Johnson, said his office hasn’t received the case file yet.
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