11-year-old boy dead after shooting himself in the head


by Tami Hoey

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 3 at 5:44 PM

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- An 11-year-old San Tan Valley boy is dead after shooting himself in the head.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office identified the boy as Samuel Epps.

It happened just before 7 p.m. Tuesday at the boy's home in the area of Bella Vista Road and Hunt Highway in the Johnson Ranch neighborhood of San Tan Valley.

Samuel's father and three siblings were home with him at the time. His mother was not there.

"Initial information indicates that Samuel had been asked to complete some chores and he became upset," Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Gaffney said in a news release Wednesday morning. "Samuel went into the home's master bedroom and a short time later a single gunshot was heard by other family members."

Samuel's father rushed to the room to find the door locked. He forced his way in and discovered his son had shot himself.

Gaffney said Samuel was still breathing when deputies and paramedics arrived minutes after Samuel's dad called 911.

Samuel was airlifted to Maricopa County Medical Center. Doctors pronounced him dead about two hours later.

Samuel was a student at Benjamin Franklin Charter School, which has three K-6 campuses.