SAN DIEGO (AP) — Family members say a 12-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet while celebrating Thanksgiving in a San Diego backyard.
Maria Gaspar-Casillas told KNSD-TV that her nephew was hit in the back by a bullet that came through at least one fence.
She said family members tried to help Angel Domingo Gaspar Gallegos before paramedics arrived at the home in the Skyline neighborhood. She says the boy was taken to a hospital where he died.
"We're all devastated right now," said Jose Casillas, the boy's uncle.
San Diego police said they have confirmed the boy was struck by a single bullet that came from east of the home.
Authorities said in a statement they are still investigating the origin of the bullet and whether it was fired intentionally. They urged community members to come forward with any details that could assist in the investigation, adding that "even the smallest piece of information could be relevant and critical to the case."
Gaspar-Casillas said she was hosting about 40 family members at the home where she recently moved in Skyline. Her nephew was playing outside with about a dozen of his cousins on when his younger brother heard a loud bang and saw him fall, the Union-Tribune reported.
"We thought my backyard was the safest place in the world for the kids to play," she told the newspaper.