Family speaks out about fatal shooting of 11-year-old boy

April 30, 2012 8:20:35 PM PDT
A family is dealing with the heartbreak of losing a little boy after a tragedy over the weekend.

An 11-year-old was accidentally shot and killed Sunday when he and a group of children got hold of a gun.

Alex Whitfield had a smile that could light up a room. At 11 years old, relatives say he was full of life -- and boy, could he dance.

Twelve days ago, Alex's loved ones were celebrating his birthday. Now, they are mourning his death.

"I didn't believe it. I didn't believe that he was dead. I still can't," said the boy's grandfather, Mark Wenzel.

The shooting happened at LaVerne and Hammerly while Alex was visiting his father for the weekend.

"The last time I saw him," Christina Wenzel said. "Oh, dear God."

So far, police are calling the shooting accidental. Investigators say Alex was playing with four kids under age 16 when they found a loaded gun in a closet in someone's apartment.

One of the boys started playing with it and it went off, officials said. The bullet ricocheted off a door and hit Alex.

A neighbor performed CPR, but couldn't save him.

"This not something I ever want anyone to go through. Wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," Christina Wenzel said.

Alex's mother tells us her son is gone because of someone's negligence. She wants the adult who owns the gun to be held accountable for what happened.

"Yes, I'm mad. People say you can't blame anybody. Yes I can. Yes I can, and I plan to," she said. "It's just not fair."

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