A parent’s worst nightmare has come true for one Ohio father.
“I just shot my son by accident,” a distraught father sobbed to a Cincinnati police 911 operator.
“Oh God. Get here quick.”
The man, believing his 14-year-old son was at school, fatally shot the boy in the neck when he mistook him for an intruder at their East Price Hill home Tuesday morning.
Police say they are investigating the shooting.
The shooting at 1216 Blanchard Ave. occurred around 6:30 a.m. The father, whose name has not been released, had recently dropped his son, Georta Mack, off at the school bus stop but the teen returned home, police said.
After hearing a noise in the basement, the father grabbed a handgun to investigate. Georta startled the man, according to the frantic 911 call, and was accidentally shot in the neck.
Throughout the call Georta’s father begs police to hurry, asking God why this has happened. He tells police his son is struggling to breathe as he held a cloth to his neck to slow the bleeding.
Shortly after, he exclaimed that his son stopped breathing.
Georta was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Shortly after 8:15 a.m., the boy was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital.
Police Lt. Steve Saunders says the father is being interviewed by police and has been cooperative.
Neighbors were seen crying as they shared the news of the shooting on snow-covered Blanchard Avenue hours later.
“He’s only 14 years old,” one woman said through tears.
Neighbors said Georta lived in the home with his 73-year-old father. They said the two seemed to get along well.
Angela Roberts, who has lived in the neighborhood in a friend’s home there for about a year, said Georta was a “good kid,” who would often mow her friend’s lawn and help with yard work.
“From everything I knew, he was a pretty good kid.”
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac called the shooting a “terrible, terrible tragedy” at a press conference Tuesday. “It’s unimaginable really.”
Isaac said the father told police the teen returned home to skip school. Isaac said the teen had some recent trouble at school but did not elaborate.
Isaac said that while owning a gun is an individual choice, that gun owners should be responsible, prepared and well-trained. He also said the everyone in the home should be aware that guns are kept in the home.
Officers were discussing the case with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office. Isaac said he did not know if the father would be charged in the case.