Shooting Claims Life Of 7-Year-Old Valley Boy


A 7-year-old Scottsdale boy was accidentally shot to death Sunday morning in Strawberry.

According to Gila County Sheriff's Detective George Ratliff, the victim, Frank Joseph Gonzales, was shot in the abdomen by his 11-year-old brother.

The father heard the shot and rushed outside to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

The boy's grandmother, a summer resident of Strawberry, immediately called 911.

The victim was transported to Hunt's Meadow where a Native Air medical helicopter was to take him to Phoenix Children's hospital.

"The boy apparently coded in the helicopter so it landed at Payson Regional Medical Center," Ratliff said. At PRMC, the boy was pronounced dead.

The youngster was in Strawberry on a holiday weekend trip to visit his grandmother.

According to Ratliff, just minutes prior to the shooting the father told the 11-year-old to go out to the family truck and bring in some clothes.

The boy retrieved the clothing, then asked if he and his younger brother could go outside to play. The boys went outside. Minutes later, the older boy retrieved the loaded .22 caliber pistol from a pouch inside the door of the truck, Ratliff said. While looking at the gun, it went off. The victim was standing nearby and was struck in the abdomen. Detectives have concluded that this was nothing but an accidental shooting.

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