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UPDATED: Child Accidentally Shot by Brother in Harford County Dies

The incident took place Saturday morning in Pylesville.

UPDATED (4:19 p.m.)—An 11-year-old boy who police believe was accidentally shot by his younger brother Saturday in Pylesville has died, a Harford County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.

The victim, identified as Michael Alexander Szoke, of the 1200 block of Ridge Road in Pylesville, sustained a gunshot wound in the 900 block of Old Pylesville Road, Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS spokesman Rich Gardiner confirmed to Patch.

 spokeswoman Monica Worrell said police were alerted to the incident at 7:20 a.m. Saturday after the boy's grandmother reported the shooting.

The 11-year-old, who police believe was playing in the woods with his younger brother at the time of the shooting, died on the way to the landing zone to be flown to Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Worrell said.

Worrell said a handgun was found in the woods around 10 a.m. near the boy's home and it is believed that his 8-year-old brother accidentally shot him.

This determination was made after after K-9 units, along with air support from Maryland State Police searched northern Harford County in an effort to determine the source of the gunshot.

According to a news release from the Harford County Sheriff's Office, the boys took the handgun from a secured area of an elderly neighbor’s property when they had gone to his house to help him with yard work.

There are no charges filed at this time, pending a review by the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to the release.

Stay with Patch for updates.


Jan Biondo June 02, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Harford fire blog stated the medevac has been cancelled......... Holding this family and the victim in prayer
Sean Welsh June 02, 2012 at 12:40 PM
HI, Jan. I've updated the story. I'd initially heard the same, but the sheriff's office confirmed the child was flown to shock trauma. We'll try to provide updates as they become available. Sean
itiswhatitis June 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
My prayers go out for this child and their family. Such a tragedy.
Sheeple June 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Jan, It's BAD news if the helicopter gets cancelled. I think this has to be some sort of an accident, I would not think some nut job would be out in Pylesville at 730 in the morning shooting random kids. My prayers go out to him.
Anita Rogers June 02, 2012 at 03:55 PM
since it is believed that the boy's 8 yr old brother accidentally shot him, the next question should be, where did they get access to the gun?
jon June 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Anita - I would suggest avoiding any criticism until you know the facts. At present time it is believed that the gun was found in the woods.
tradewinds June 02, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Heartbreaking. What a terrible tragedy. My prayers and condolences go out to the family.
tracy mccarty June 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Such a tragedy. My prayers go out to the family:(
Hazzard Native June 02, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Another news source reports "The boys had removed the handgun from a secured area of an elderly neighbor’s property, when they had gone to his house to help him with yard work." http://www.daggerpress.com/2012/06/02/11-year-old-pylesville-boy-fatally-wounded-in-gun-accident/
Mindy Hopkins-Hasty June 02, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Absolutely tragic! I will keep this family in my prayers.
vietnam vet June 02, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Such a tragedy, for the family. and the little one. who will have to live with this the rest of his life.
nicole dodson June 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM
why does it matter where the mother is, or father? It was a terrible accident and now a family is is grieving. Not everyone explains gun safety to their children. We raise our kids to know right from wrong and try to do our best to protect them, but we can not be with them every second of every day. My deepst condolences and prayers go out to the entire family as they begin to deal with this loss.
Sean Welsh June 03, 2012 at 11:24 AM
A comment from "Masons mommy" has been deleted for violation of Patch's Terms of Use. Find those terms here: http://belair.patch.com/terms -Sean
Barb Hadel June 03, 2012 at 12:04 PM
May the Lord be with the family and this little boy in the lose of such a young child and a secured gun dosen't kill someone, this is a fact
Jan Biondo June 03, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Yes, I am aware of that. That's why I posted but then, as Sean pointed out, they decided to fly him to JH anyway. Seems you were correct about the accident scenario. What a terrible tragedy. Prayers for the family, especially the little brother.
Jan Biondo June 03, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Thanks Sean. I saw afterwards that they did in fact fly him out. Thanks for your updates. Continuing to pray for the family.
Harkins Funeral Home June 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Service information and an opportunity to leave his family condolence messages can be found at: harkinsfuneralhome.com or on the Facebook page for Harkins Funeral Home, Delta, Pennsylvania.
Dadof2 June 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Truly a tragedy for all involved.... and my prayers, too, go to the family. The report states: "According to a news release from the Harford County Sheriff's Office, the boys took the handgun from a secured area of an elderly neighbor’s property when they had gone to his house to help him with yard work." It begs the question: "Just how secure was that area of the elderly neighbors property was the gun stored for an 8 yr old and/or an 11 yr old to be able to remove it from the property?" I admit that I don't know anything more about this story other than what I read here on Patch, but maybe the elderly neighbor needs to be charged with improper storage of a handgun.
Wings June 03, 2012 at 10:10 PM
This is exactly why ALL guns should be in a locked cabinet regardless if you have children or not. This tragedy could have been prevented. So sad :'(
Chrystie C-S June 04, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I graduated from high school with the father of these two little boys and this terrible accident happened less then two minutes from my home. My heart breaks for them. I will be keeping them in my thoughts and prayers. I wish those who are quick to judge would step back and wait for the facts to be released. What good does it do to point fingers? Placing blame will not reverse this terrible accident.
Carrie T June 05, 2012 at 02:51 AM
It's good to have an open dialogue about this awful tragedy. It helps to raise gun-safety awareness! Lots of love and prayers for all involved!!!
bpositive June 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
My heart is breaking for this family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Christopher Kidwell August 12, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I blame the parents of these children. I told my children that if they were to find a gun they were NOT to touch it and were to go tell an adult. Why weren't these children told that?
Christopher Kidwell August 12, 2012 at 06:02 PM
A dialogue is fine. However, I already see anti-gun idiots using this to say "BAN THE GUNS!" Really, maybe it's time to teach children very early what to do when they find a gun: Don't touch it, go get an adult, and let them take care of it.

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