‘Hug your young ones’: Moses Lake boy’s death a reminder of gun safety

8-year-old boy accidentally shot, killed by pellet gun
Grant County Sheriff's Office

MOSES LAKE, Wash. — It was a life lost way too soon. An eight-year-old boy from Moses Lake died when he was shot with a pellet rifle Tuesday night. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says it was his own 13-year-old brother who shot the pellet gun.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Grant County coroner said the boy was Jacob Munoz, a 2nd grader from Moses Lake. Kyle Foreman, a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office, says they don’t believe this was anything more than a terrible accident.

The Moses Lake School District had 15 extra support staff at the school Wednesday to be there for students and staff to get help if they’re in need.

“Park Orchard, like many of our other schools, is a family,” said Dr. Joshua Meek, the superintendent of Moses Lake School District, of the school Jacob attended.

On Wednesday night, that family and the whole Moses Lake community lost a loved one who died too soon.

“It’s a place of sadness, a place of disbelief that a tragedy to a young bright eyed eight-year-old boy was lost due to this unfortunate circumstance,” Meek said.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says Jacob and his brother were near the Cascade Marina just outside of Moses Lake when this all happened; a field where people go out and recreate. Jacob had been shot in the chest, and police were not able to bring him back when they got to the scene.

Pellet Rifles and BB guns can be dangerous. A 4-year-old boy in Michigan just died last week from a pellet gun accident. The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are about four deaths per year because of them.

“I’m not sure the exact distance of how far apart they were but my understanding was they weren’t very close to each other. It was just a really unfortunate set of circumstances,” Foreman said.

There are ways to try to avoid tragedies like this, Foreman says it’s best to follow the rules the National Rifle Association put out for guns in any situation.

The National Rifle Association says:

  • Treat guns like they’re loaded
  • Make sure to keep fingers off the trigger if not in use
  • Don’t point weapons at anyone
  • Know where the weapon is being pointed.
  • Keep firearms unloaded

Foreman added that if there are kids at home, make sure they can’t access any weapons.  Keep them locked away and safe, and double check to make sure they’re stored away safely.

“Whenever loss, when you face loss and it’s hard to stay grounded in this, but it’s a great reminder for all of us to hug your young ones and your loved ones closely. Never take for granted the moments you have with them,” Meek added.