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Two young cousins died after one fatally shot the other before killing himself, according to police, in what family members called a “strange accident” during a birthday party at a St. Louis apartment on Friday.
Paris Harvey, 12, and Kuaron Harvey, 14, were shot to death while the cousins livestreamed on Instagram from the apartment’s bathroom around 2:00 a.m. Friday, according to the family. The cousins attended a family party to celebrate the birthdays of the younger relatives in the month of March.
Police are still investigating the shooting but initially called it a “murder-suicide.”
“We send our deepest condolences to the family of Paris Harvey, 12, and Kuaron Harvey, 14, who tragically passed away on 03/25/22,” the St. Louis Police Department wrote on social media.
Paris’ mother, Shanise Harvey, 35, said she did not know who the gun belonged to or how her daughter found it.
“They [were] making a video and she was playing with the gun, but she shot herself and hit him,” Harvey told NBC affiliate KSDK in an interview. “To my knowledge, then she picked it up, she picked it up the barrel and she shot herself again… It wasn’t suicide. It was just a freak accident.”
Instagram Live video
Susan Dyson, the cousins’ grandmother, told the St. Louis Dispatch that she had seen the Instagram Live video showing the shooting.
“It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that. They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been,” Dyson told the Dispatch. “Of course, they shouldn’t have. I think it just went off. It was shot by mistake.”
Family members said that Paris, who was one of nine children, was a fun seventh grader who loved to do her hair and nails and she had a beautiful voice. They described Kuaron as a goofy eighth grader who had long been able to do back flips.
Family members told the Post-dispatch Paris and Kuaron were very close, called each other brother and sister and were always facetiming, rapping, making videos and pulling pranks.
Angel Dyson, Paris’ aunt, also told the outlet the cousins acted ‘older than they were.’
‘No matter how good we try to raise our kids,’ Shinise Harvey said, ‘they still are going to venture off.’