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Police: Shooting That Killed Boy, 12, Apparently Accidental

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57th Place Fatal

A 12-year-old boy is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the 3500 block of West 57th Place. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated: 12/20/10 12:06 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – The death of a boy who was shot in the head as he played with a gun with a friend Sunday on the Southwest Side is being investigated as an accident, police said.

At 4:53 p.m., police responded to a call in the 3500 block of West 57th Place where the boy was found with what was initially thought to be an apparent self-afflicted gunshot wound to the head, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

Johnny Maldonado, of the 5800 block of St. Louis Avenue, was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn at 5:43 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Maldonado, who was to turn 13 on Christmas Day, was hanging out at the home of a relative with his 12-year-old male friend, Wentworth Area Sgt. James Lamperis said.

The two found a gun and were in the attic where they were passing it back and forth. While playing with the gun, it accidentally discharged while it was in the hand of the victim’s friend. The bullet hit the victim in the face, under his eye, Lamperis said.

The incident is being investigated as an accidental shooting, police said. It was unclear whether anyone would be cited or charged in the shooting.

It was also not clear who was home at the time, but the victim’s aunt, who lives at that residence, was not at home, according to Lamperis.

An autopsy is scheduled for later Monday.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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