A man in Cincinnati, Ohio fatally shot his son after mistaking him for an intruder. Fourteen-year-old Georta Mack, who was shot in the neck by his father, was taken to a hospital but died a few hours later.
According to police, the incident occurred on 12 January when the teenager hid in the basement of his house in Blanchard Avenue after skipping school. His father, who was in bed at the time, heard some noises coming from the basement. He went to inspect and took his handgun along. On finding someone making his way up the basement's staircase and appearing behind the door, the 73-year-old "got startled and shot the intruder", police said.
The man – who has not been named – had dropped off his son at the school bus stop in the morning the same day, but Georta returned home and hid in the basement around 6.30am local time (11.30am GMT), police said.
"He [Georta Mack] scared me, I thought he was in school," the father said in his 911 call, according to The Daily Mail. "I heard noise so I went downstairs looking and he jumped out at me and I shot him. He scared me. Oh god, come quicker," the father told the 911 dispatcher.
Georta's father also told the 911 dispatcher that his son was having trouble breathing. Meanwhile, Angela Campbell, a neighbour was quoted as saying: "I'm just in shock. I just can't believe this... He [Georta] was just so young, he had his whole life."
"These types of tragedies are so horrific, they're even unimaginable," police chief Eliot Isaac said and added that further investigations were underway.
According to Gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, more than 100 children below the age of 14 are killed in unintentional shootings in the US each year.