ST. LOUIS — Police on Saturday identified the child who fatally shot her cousin before shooting herself in what the children's family is calling an accidental shooting.
Paris Harvey, 12, shot her cousin, Kuaron Harvey, 14, at the Cupples Station Loft Apartments in the 1000 block of Spruce Street, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said.
Officers responded to the apartment building around 2 a.m. Friday, where they found both children dead from gunshot wounds.
Paris' mother, Shanise Harvey, said she let her daughter attend a family party to celebrate March birthdays.
"Everybody was getting together to celebrate, and so the younger kids, they got a bed and breakfast," Harvey said. "They were making a video, and (Paris) was playing with the gun, but it went off and hit him."
While police characterized the incident as a murder-suicide, Harvey provided this account.
"(Paris) dropped the gun, and it fell, and it went off to my knowledge. And then when she picked it up, she picked it up by the barrel and it went off. That's all I know ... It was not a suicide. It was just a freak accident."
Family members said the shooting was broadcast live on Instagram.
Kauron Harvey had just celebrated a birthday, according to family members.
Shinise Harvey said her nephew was also her godson, and she didn't know who the gun belonged to or how her daughter found it.
"With all that family there, they should have basically made sure she was OK," she said. "Everybody should have stuck with somebody."
Authorities said both children lived in north St. Louis.
Shinise Harvey said she was not at the apartment when the shootings happened. A family member who answered the door where the the 14-year-old boy lived said the boy's mother also did not attend the party.
Police are still investigating who owned the gun and whether anyone will face charges in connection with the children's deaths.
"We've got to look out for each other. We're a family, and they're young," Shanise Harvey said.