PYLESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) –A tragic story out of Harford County. The Pylesville community is in mourning after the death of an 11-year-old boy who was killed after he and his 8-year-old brother got their hands on a loaded gun.
Mike Hellgren has the investigation and what his family is saying.
This is a much-loved little boy. His family is devastated. There are differing accounts of how this unfolded, but it does appear to be accidental.
Harry Kiel wipes away tears while talking about the shooting that killed his 11-year-old grandson, Michael Alexander Szoke, early Saturday morning in Harford County.
“He was my number one 11-year-old,” Kiel said.
According to the grandfather, Szoke and his 8-year-old brother got a gun from a neighbor’s and were playing with it in the woods when the gun went off.
“They played. They did everything together. It was just a freak thing. It happened,” Kiel said. “He shot at the tree, at the squirrel. The bullet hit the tree. It came back and hit Mikey.”
Police say their investigation revealed something different.
“The 8-year-old accidentally shot the 11-year-old with a gun that was found,” said Monica Worrell, Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Police say the gun was in a secured shed, that the neighbor opened so the brothers could get equipment to do yard work.
The grandfather says he doesn’t believe it was secure enough.
“It should have been put away. It shouldn’t have been where it was at,” Kiel said. “Don’t let this happen to anyone else’s kids. Please, people. Protect them.”
“I want to love my kids, not bury them,” he continued. “I cried all night long. I really did.”
Police say there are no plans to file any charges in this case.
The family tells us they would like to thank the first responders.
Szoke died on the way to the Medevac landing zone.