‘Freak accident’: St. Louis girl fatally shoots cousin, self during Instagram livestream

ST. LOUIS — In what family members called a “freak accident,” two young cousins died Friday after police said one of them, a 12-year-old girl, fatally shot her 14-year-old cousin and then herself.

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According to the family, Paris Harvey, 12, and Kuaron Harvey, 14, died at around 2 a.m. while livestreaming on Instagram from the apartment’s bathroom. The cousins were attending a family party to celebrate younger relatives’ birthdays for the month of March, USA Today reported.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the cousins were raised together and considered each other siblings.

Susan Dyson, the girl’s grandmother, told the newspaper that she had viewed the Instagram Live video.

“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that. They were playing with the gun when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake,” Dyson said.

Police, who initially classified the shooting as a murder-suicide, are still investigating, USA Today reported.

“We are sending our heartfelt condolences to the family of 12-year-old Paris Harvey and 14-year-old Kuaron Harvey who tragically passed away on 03/25/22,” the St. Louis Police Department wrote on social media.

Meanwhile, 35-year-old Shanise Harvey, Paris Harvey’s mother, told KDSK that she did not know who owned the gun or how her daughter found it.

“They [were] making a video, and she was playing with the gun, but it went off and hit him. To my knowledge, then she picked it up, she picked it up by the barrel, and it went off again... It was not a suicide. It was just a freak accident,” Shanise Harvey told the TV station.