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A 14-year-old Missouri girl accidentally killed her 12-year-old cousin and then killed herself while streaming on Instagram Live at a birthday party, her affected family says.
St Louis police initially described the incident on Friday, in which 12-year-old Paris Harvey shot her 14-year-old cousin Kuaron Harvey before committing suicide, as a murder-suicide.
But the children’s family has since described the horrific shooting at a house the family rented for birthdays as a “freak accident.”
Police responded to the Cupples Station Loft apartments at South 10th and Spruce Street shortly after 2 a.m. of Friday.
Kuaron and Paris, whose mother and father are siblings, were pronounced dead at the scene. Relatives have shut down reports of a murder-suicide, saying it was a “freak accident” instead.
It wasn’t a murder. It was not a suicide,’ Paris’s mother, Shinise Harvey, 35, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. ‘It was a freak accident. Occurred.’
Harvey said that she had not seen the video, but that members of her family had described it to him.
She said the cousins were “trying to be too hip” when they broadcast live from the bathroom of the downtown apartment before the tragedy.
Instagram Live video
Paris’s grandmother, Susan Dyson, said she saw the Instagram Live video the two cousins were making together.
After Kuaron was shot in the head, Paris took the gun from her and she may have accidentally shot herself, also injuring her head, her relatives said.
“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that,” Dyson told the Post-dispatch.
“They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been. Of course, they shouldn’t have. I think it just went off. She shot herself by mistake.
Kuaron was believed to have brought the gun to the party, but police are still investigating who the gun was registered to.
It’s unclear if law enforcement plans to press charges against any of the adults in charge of the children or their parents.
Family members told the Post-dispatch that Paris and Kuaron were very close, calling each other brother and sister and were always facetime, rapping, making videos and pulling pranks.
Angel Dyson, Paris’s aunt, also told the outlet that the cousins acted “older than they are.”
“No matter how well we try to raise our children,” Shinise Harvey said, “they are still going to venture.”
On social media, the police posted a tribute to the children after their sudden death.
“We send our deepest condolences to the family of Paris Harvey, 12, and Kuaron Harvey, 14, who tragically passed away on 03/25/22.”
Family members said Paris, who was one of nine children, was a fun-loving seventh grader who loved to do her hair and nails and had a beautiful voice.
They described Kuaron as a goofy eighth grader who had long been able to do back flips.
According to Post-dispatch, the party was for teens and young adults in the family.
While Paris and Kuaron had initially been told they couldn’t go to the party, their mothers eventually said yes when the children begged them to go.
Paris’s sister, Tatyina Gilliehan, created a GoFundMe to raise money to cover funeral costs. Kuaron’s mother, Dara Harvey, also organized a fundraiser.
Kuaron Harvey Quick and Facts
- St Louis Police initially described the incident in which 12-year-old Paris Harvey, shot her cousin, Kuaron Harvey, 14, before shooting herself as a murder-suicide
- However, the children’s family described the horrific shooting that took place at a house the family rented to celebrate birthdays, as a ‘freak accident’
- Police responded to the Cupples Station Loft Apartments at South 10th and Spruce Street shortly after 2am on Friday
- Kuaron and Paris, whose mother and father are siblings, were pronounced dead at the scene
- Relatives have shut down reports of a murder-suicide, saying instead it was a ‘freak accident’
- ‘It was no murder. It wasn’t a suicide,’ Paris’ mother, 35-year-old Shinise Harvey, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. ‘It was a freak accident. It happened’