MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s any parent’s worst nightmare.
A young boy is dead after police say he was shot and killed by another juvenile in Monroe County Tuesday night. Eyewitness News spoke with a woman who says she knows exactly what the parents must be going through.
It’s a club no one wants to be a part of: parents who have lost children to fatal shootings. And it’s getting bigger each year. According to data from Every town for Gun Safety, in 2021 there were at least 76 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S. 31 of them were fatal.
While state police are investigating the incident and have yet to release any details a mother in Wilkes-Barre says she can relate to the family’s pain.
Around 9:30 Tuesday night, PSP Stroudsburg responded to a home on Vista Circle in Middle Smithfield Township where they found an 11-year-old boy dead from a single gunshot wound.
Troopers say another child pulled the trigger.
“My heart aches. When you told me about that, I was like ‘oh I know how the parents feel. What they’re feeling right now, they’re probably thinking if they could change…Change what happened,” Jane Maconeghy said.
Maconeghy wrestles with the same thoughts everyday for the past three years. Eyewitness News first spoke with Maconeghy in September 2019, right after her 15-year-old daughter, Emily Winburn, was killed in an accidental shooting at the hands of another juvenile.
Maconeghy says Emily’s friends were messing around with a gun they allegedly thought was unloaded and it went off. The bullet struck Emily and killed her.
“I couldn’t understand it. I joined a grief group on Facebook. They have a group for bereaved parents,” Maconeghy said.
The group connected her with other parents who lost children to unintentional shootings.
She says it’s a complex pain, worsened by guilt. She wishes she taught her daughter about gun safety.
“She would have been 18 this year,” Maconeghy said.
State police continue to investigate, and details are limited due to the sensitive nature of the case.
Off camera, neighbors told Eyewitness News the victim was a nice kid and they’re heartbroken for the family.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says aside from not having guns in the home, the safest way to prevent child unintentional shootings is to store guns unloaded and locked, with ammunition kept in a separate place.
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