An investigation is underway after 7-year-old Devon Lofton of Chicago, Illinois, died from an apparent gunshot wound to the head, reported the Chicago Sun Times. At approximately 3:50 p.m. on Sunday, it was reported that Lofton accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with his 10-year-old brother at his home in the 6700 block of South Aberdeen.
After the tragedy unfolded, his brother ran into neighbor Claudia Harris’ home — through the kitchen door — and asked her to call the police. Harris told reporters that she “didn’t know what was going on at first,” but from the child’s reaction she “knew it was bad.”
1st pic of 7 yr old Devon Lofton. He accidentally shot himself in the chest Sunday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/CZRAiUBr9P
— marco stendardo (@NBC5Marco) March 22, 2016
When paramedics arrived at the scene, Lofton, who attended Wentworth Elementary School as a first-grader, was rushed to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 4:36 p.m. the same day.
The community was shocked after learning the boy had accidentally shot himself in the head, including another neighbor, Bernard Warfield, who said he saw Lofton riding his red bicycle just hours before the incident occurred. The pair laughed and talked just before Loftman told his neighbor that he’ll see him later. Unfortunately, they’ll never see each other again, leaving Warfield traumatized.
“We loved him. He just graduated from kindergarten last year and he was a happy little boy,” said Harris.
Anthony Guglielmi, who is the police spokesmen, stated that “this is an unspeakable tragedy and clearly illustrates the long-standing problem we have with guns on our streets.”
A local Alderman, Toni Foulke, told reporters that the incident should have never occurred.
He went on to say, “If you are going to have a gun in the house they need to be secured, in lock boxes or little locks on the triggers and away from children.”
However, this may not be the case, as Lofton’s relatives, who reside in the home where the boy accidentally shot himself, stated that the .22-caliber handgun did not belong to anyone in the house. Chicago police officials have yet to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of Devon Lofton, but they do believe that his brother brought a gun into the home and hid it in his mother’s drawer, according to ABC 7 Chicago.
When the adults were out of sight, Lofton allegedly went into his mother’s drawer to retrieve the gun – that’s when the brothers commenced playing with it, but it was reported that the children may have believed it was a toy gun.
Investigators have interviewed Lofton’s brother after the accidental shooting, and they are working diligently to uncover who gave the child the gun.
— Grace Wong (@GraceWong630) March 22, 2016
Monday night, a vigil was held for the Chicago boy who accidentally shot himself in the head, where hundreds congregated in front of his house to remember him. Many of his friends and family members wore orange because it was his favorite color, said Lofton’s grandmother Sheila Dordies, 52, who resides in Indiana.
She also stated that the Chicago boy enjoyed going to the Salvation Army after school to color and draw pictures of his family.
Dordies added, “He would help any and everybody. He said he wanted the world to love each other…That’s what he always used to say.”
Tears & pain at vigil for 7-year-old Devon Lofton, who fatally shot himself Sunday in his family’s Englewood home pic.twitter.com/E5iqzPoeV5
— Ashlee Rezin (@Ashlee_Rezin) March 22, 2016
The president of the Englewood Political Task Force, Darryl Smith, said that he “loves balloons, but I want to see balloons at graduations, not at prayer vigils. The only thing I ask of this community, my community, and the people that are out here: When the cameras leave, when the police drive off and the crowd disperses, come back and support this family.”
“This could have been anyone of these little kids out here, so this is just a message, just a learning lesson. But support this family, and stay with this family,” added community activist Andrew Holmes.
The investigation is ongoing.
[Photo by Scott Olsen/Getty Images]