According to current legislation, a firearm of any kind must never be loaded and within reach of a third party.
The Judicial Police (PJ) said today that it was “very premature” to classify the shooting of a 13-year-old child on Sunday as accidental.
“Without further examinations, analysis and investigation, it is too premature to say for the moment that it was an accidental shooting,” a source from the Braga PJ told the Lusa news agency.
The same source added that “as the death was caused by a firearm, an autopsy is mandatory”.
“The result of the autopsy could be one of the determining factors in reaching certain conclusions,” he said.
The child died at the family home in S. Martinho de Castro, Ponte da Barca municipality, Viana do Castelo district.
“The circumstances in which the tragic incident occurred are being investigated. It’s a very dramatic situation in family terms and, in that sense, we have to be very cautious,” he said.
The hunting rifle belongs to the child’s 13-year-old grandfather.
“According to current legislation, a firearm, of any kind, can never be loaded and within the reach of third parties. It must be properly stored in its own safe and, even inside the safe, it cannot be loaded with ammunition,” explained the same PJ source.
The incident was reported on Sunday at 11:40. A team of psychologists was called to the scene to support the family, who live in France and are in Portugal on vacation. In addition to the GNR and PJ, the Ponte da Barca Fire Brigade was called to the scene.