9-year-old boy hit by stray bullet in desert

9-year-old boy dies after being wounded by ricochet shot

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TONOPAH, Ariz. -

Authorities say a 9-year-old Tonopah boy has died after being wounded by what was described as a ricochet bullet as a group of family and friends were shooting in the desert.

Maricopa County Sheriff's spokesperson Chris Hegstrom says the boy died Thursday at a Phoenix hospital. He was shot Wednesday morning near 363rd Avenue and Lower Buckeye, a remote area of the county.

"They're all together, someone fires a gun, and the bullet ricochets and hits the boy. They immediately call 911, pick up the boy, and put him in the car," said Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Joaquin Enriquez.

According to Enriquez, the group included two adults, a girl who was a sister of the boy and two other children.

They drove the boy about two miles to a home where they were able to call 911. When deputies arrived at the scene, they ordered a medical helicopter to airlift the child to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"All the stories to this point right now seem to match up. However, MCSO is taking this very serious, we do have a child in very critical condition, so we're treating this a legitimate investigation. We have several crime scenes that we're dealing with, and several people to interview," said Deputy Enriquez.

On Thursday morning, Officer Christopher Hegstrom with MCSO stated, "The 9-year old victim in Wednesday’s shooting incident was pronounced dead this morning at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. At this time, no charges have been filed pending the outcome of the investigation."

Hegstrom says the boy's identity was withheld because of the continuing investigation. No one has been taken into custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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