Boy dead at camp: 'We're all alarmed by it'

SAN DIEGO - A 12-year-old boy died at Fiesta Island from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday morning, authorities said.

Police and paramedics were called to the Fiesta Island Youth Camp near East Mission Bay Drive shortly after 7:30 a.m. on a report the boy had shot himself, according to San Diego police and fire officials. The Boy Scouts of America hosts a summer camp there.

Officers found the 12-year-old boy inside a tent. He had a gunshot wound to his upper torso. Paramedics were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. A handgun was found nearby.

It was initially reported that the boy had suffered a gunshot wound to the head, but police later stated the wound was in his torso.

The boy, who early on was identified as an 11-year-old but later confirmed to be 12 years old, was from Las Vegas. He was part of a Boy Scout troop in town for a week-long camping trip. The troop arrived on Sunday.

"Obviously, we're all alarmed by it," said Ron Johnson, Troop Leader for Troop 669 out of Escondido. "I think there's probably greater panic on the outside of Fiesta Island than there is in."

Investigators spent Monday interviewing those at the scene to try to determine how the event unfolded and how the 12-year-old was able to gain access to a gun. Forensics was called to the scene as well to process evidence.

The boy's name has not yet been released, pending family notification.

Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to call the San Diego Police Department's Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer had been planning a news conference at Fiesta Island Monday morning to talk about the annual Over the Line Tournament, but canceled it due to the shooting.

And of course, the news about what happened was alarming for parents and grandparents who sent their kids to camp.

"I'm worried about his safety," Sylvia, a mom from Chula Vista, said. "I don't know that there are any measures here that actually give us peace of mind as for what kids are bringing in."

"There was no physical check that I could witness," she added. "They did have a checklist that they were going over, which seemed reasonable at the time. But I did not see any checking of bags."

Shane Calendine, Scout Executive/CEO of the Las Vegas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, issued this statement to 10News' Las Vegas sister station KTNV:

"This is an extremely sad day for our entire Scouting family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young man and those who experienced this tragedy. Our top priority is providing support to our Scouts and leaders and for those in the grieving process. Grief counselors are on site and available to support those who are involved. It is during these trying times that we renew our commitment to our nation's youth and come together as a community to do all that we can to support each other."

San Diego County Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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