HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 10-year-old boy is dead after what Houston police are calling an accidental shooting in northwest Houston.
Now, his mother is shedding light on what she believes happened.
Houston police received a call of a shooting Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 8300 block of Willow Place.
Upon arrival, police said a mom sent her 10-year-old son and his 11-year-old cousin down to her car to get something. At some point, the boys found a gun inside the car and one of them began playing with it. During that time, the gun went off, striking the 10-year-old.
Khalid Mendez's mother identified him as the child who was shot. She said Khalid was a great boy who died in her arms.
She also told ABC13 that she wanted to make clear that the car where the kids found the gun did not belong to her. She said she is not a gun owner, and the other child involved is a family friend. A lieutenant with Houston police said the 11-year-old was Khalid's cousin.
The childrens' mothers are cooperating in the investigation, police said.
At this time, police are looking more into the case, especially into who owned the gun and which of the boys was playing with it.
"It's traumatizing to me, and I don't even know how to take it," said a woman who saw Khalid right after the shooting.
The woman asked not to be identified, but she lives at Willow Green Apartments.
She said she heard screaming coming from the parking lot and then went looking for help.
"I heard the sirens, and I wanted to make sure they came the right way to get to him as fast as they could," she said.
But despite the help, the ambulance didn't make it in time.
The woman said she saw Khalid's mother holding him in his final moments. She said the 10-year-old had just taken his last breath, as he was constantly spitting up blood.
Hours later, the scene was still too much for family members to take in. Khalid's grandfather was visibly and audibly emotional.
Neighbors like Jonathan Mendoza shared in the family's pain.
"Well, yeah, you feel bad for them. Especially the way he just broke down. You can feel for him," Mendoza said.
The woman witness said she also has a 10-year-old son, and she offered prayers for Khalid's family.
Houston police are gathering evidence that may be presented to the district attorney to determine if charges will be filed.