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A pair of young cousins have died after what police are calling a murder-suicide that was broadcast live at a birthday party in St. Louis.
Kuaron Harvey, 14, and Paris Harvey, 12, were live on Instagram around 2 a.m. Friday when a gun the younger girl was playing with went off and killed her cousin, prompting her to kill herself, CBS News reported.
Police initially described the deadly incident as a murder-suicide, but her family says that was not the case.
“It was not a murder. It was not a suicide,” Paris’s distraught mother, Shinise Harvey, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It was a freak accident. It happened.”
She said family members who saw the video said the couple was “trying to be too hip” when the shooting happened.
Police told the outlet that the cousins were found unconscious at 2:07 a.m. and both were later pronounced dead at the scene.
“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that,” said Susan Dyson, the dead girl’s grandmother. “They were playing with a gun when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have.
“I think it just went off,” Dyson said. “She shot herself by mistake.”
She said the two were at a birthday party for younger family members when they went into the bathroom to film in front of a mirror. It was then that the tragedy occurred.
The family said that the two were so close that they were like “brother and sister”, and that they usually hung out when they were together, making jokes, rapping or making videos.
“No matter how well we raise our children, they are still going to venture out,” Shinise Harvey told the Dispatch.
St. Louis police have not released the results of the department’s investigation.
Instagram Live video
Paris’s grandmother, Susan Dyson, said she saw the Instagram Live video the two cousins were making together.
After Kuaron was shot in the head, Paris took the gun from her and she may have accidentally shot herself, also injuring her head, her relatives said.
“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that,” Dyson told the Post-dispatch.
“They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have. I think it just went off. She shot herself by mistake.
Kuaron was believed to have brought the gun to the party, but police are still investigating who the gun was registered to.