A Milton-Freewater high school student died Tuesday from a gunshot wound.
Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer in an email reported the shooting occurred Sunday at about 5:15 p.m., and the investigation indicated the 15-year-old victim shot himself on accident. Boedigheimer stated he would not reveal the boy’s name “out of deference and respect for his grieving family.”
The shooting did not take place at the boy’s home. He received treatment at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Walla Walla, and air ambulance flew him from there to another hospital. Boedigheimer did not report the name of the second hospital but stated the teen died there Tuesday from his injury.
The chief called the death “very tragic” and confirmed the police investigation is complete.
“Unless something else in the way of tangible, investigable information comes forward to us,” he stated, “we’re deeming it as originally indicated, an unfortunate accident.”
Milton-Freewater Unified School District Superintendent Rob Clark said rumors starting circulating Monday morning at McLoughlin High School that a student died. He made calls to track down more information, he said, and around 10:40 a.m. heard from Boedigheimer who confirmed the student suffered an accidental gunshot wound. From there the school made counselors available to high school students in the library.
The Milton-Freewater School District is a member of the InterMountain Education Service District, which provides a crisis team to help students. ESD communications director Michele Madril said Milton-Freewater school and InterMountain officials discussed that option but the school is handling the counseling.
Clark said this is a short week for the high school due to parent/teacher conferences, but the extra counseling probably would be available for students through Wednesday.