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Officers’ stray bullet kills 6-year-old Texas boy, sheriff says

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(CNN) – Hours after Kameron Prescott’s Christmas party at his Texas school, the 6-year-old boy was fatally shot when deputies opened fire on a suspected car thief, the local sheriff said.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar called Kameron’s death Thursday a “tragic accident.” No weapon was found after four deputies fired, also killing the suspect, Amanda Lene Jones, 30, whom they believed was armed, Salazar said.

A bullet pierced the wall of the mobile home where Kameron lived and lodged in his abdomen, Salazar told reporters.

Deputies discovered the wounded boy inside the home, carried him out and administered first aid, Salazar said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“The deputies are, of course, understandably shaken up,” the sheriff said. “Officer-involved shootings are traumatic enough. Add to this the death of an innocent 6-year-old, and it’s that much more troubling.”

A dark-colored pipe with Jones’ blood on it was found near her body, Salazar said. The deputies, as well as witnesses who encountered the woman that day, said she threatened to shoot them. Investigators were still searching for a weapon.

The killing stunned the small community near San Antonio. First-grade teacher Shanda Ince told CNN affiliate KSAT she couldn’t help but wonder how the tragedy might have been averted.

“All I can think about right now is what could I have done differently,” she said, “had it not been a half day.”

The deputies who opened fire — identified as John Aguillon, George Herrera, Jesse Arias and Johnny Longoria, a reservist — have been placed on administrative leave, the sheriff’s office said. The local district attorney is investigating.

“Preliminary, I can tell you it appears as if policies were complied with,” Salazar said of the shooting. “Right now, what I’m dealing with is a tragic accident that led to the death of this young man.”

Parts of the shooting were captured by a body camera worn by one deputy, Salazar said. But the view was obstructed when the deputy raised his rifle to fire.

“I’ll be honest with you,” Salazar said, “it’s pretty heartbreaking video for us to see.”

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