A teen was arrested for accidentally shooting and killing his 13-year-old cousin with a shotgun. The incident took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday.

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, officers responded to a home Thursday afternoon after receiving a shooting report. Upon arrival, the officers found the accused, identified as 19-year-old Anthony Padilla, holding the victim, Patricio Arroyo, in his lap. The officers rushed the victim to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to his torso. The victim was pronounced dead on arrival by the doctors.

The family members told the investigators that they saw the accused walking out of a bedroom with the weapon. Padilla then pointed the shotgun at his cousin and shot him. They believed it was an accident.

Padilla was detained for questioning. He told the investigators that he had purchased the gun a few months back. He said he stored the weapon at his uncle’s home as his mother didn’t allow guns at his home. Padilla added that he always ensured the weapon was unloaded before storing it.

Speaking about the incident, the accused said he was taking the weapon home from his uncle’s place for protection “due to the coronavirus that was going around.” He added that he first pulled the trigger and nothing happened. Assuming that the gun was not loaded, he pointed the weapon at his cousin and pulled the trigger.

“He put the gun down near the front door and began to tell Patricio to ‘stay awake’ after he realized what he had done. He did not realize the shotgun was loaded,” a criminal complaint stated.

The accused was charged with murder and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.

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