GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Nassau County say a 15-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself while playing with a gun in Glen Cove.
The victim has been identified by neighbors as Derek Cosme, a Glen Cove High School student.
The incident happened just after 8 p.m. Wednesday at a home on Williams Street. Authorities said the 15-year-old boy was visiting his two friends at the house when the three started playing with a gun.
“It appears that this was an accidental shooting and that three juveniles had access to a licensed pistol holder’s weapon,” Nassau County Police Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said. “As they were playing with this weapon, the gun discharged and killed the one juvenile. The gun was shot by that juvenile.”
Police said the boy was pronounced dead at the scene. The teen’s mother received the devastating news as she arrived to pick him up from his friend’s house, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
The victim’s family called it a senseless tragedy.
“When you have young kids, why leave a gun unattended? Who does that?” Rosa Vasquez said.
Vasquez wants to know how the boys were able to get their hands on the weapon.
“The gun was outside, it should have been in a safe somewhere. We want answers, and we are not going to stop until we get the answers we are looking for,” she said.
Local parents are shocked that the boys could have gotten to the gun, which by Nassau County law should have been safeguarded, Gusoff reported.
“Very shocking, very sad,” neighbor Betty Veith said. “Parents should educate their children about gun use, don’t have guns in the house.”
“I’m in deep shock,” said neighbor Frank Ecker. “I just can’t believe something like this would happen. Sad for the family and the boy’s family. Very sad.”
“It really is shattering knowing we are supposed to be fixing our gun laws and we are supposed to be a lot more protective of this,” neighbor Marlon Hernandez said.
Nassau County does not have a weapon storage law, although it has been proposed. Gun owners are advised in a handbook to keep the weapon in a safe or lock box.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall was told the weapon belonged to someone in law enforcement or a relative of someone in law enforcement. Neighbors told Gusoff the grandmother in the house is retired from law enforcement, but it’s not clear whose gun it was, or how it was stored.
The investigation is ongoing