SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A 12-year-old boy from Las Vegas was found dead of a gunshot wound at a Boy Scouts of America summer camp in San Diego, police said on Monday.
An emergency call from the camp described the shooting as a suicide attempt, said San Diego police Lieutenant Mike Hastings of the homicide unit.
The boy was at Fiesta Island in San Diego’s Mission Bay with his Las Vegas-based Boy Scout troop, according to San Diego police spokesman Matt Tortorella.
The camp, which has canoes and kayaks, is focused on aquatic sports, and police said there was no shooting component to it. Investigators found a handgun near the boy, who had a gunshot wound to the upper torso, and they were seeking to find out why the weapon was at the camp, police said.
The boy’s father was at the camp with him, having arrived on Sunday for a seven-day stay. They had been scheduled to return to Las Vegas on Saturday, Hastings said.
Police did not immediately release the name of the child.
The site where the shooting occurred is near the aquatic theme park SeaWorld and is dotted with dog beaches and parking for recreational vehicles.
Vladimir Raicevic of the Southern California town of Escondido dropped off his son at the Boy Scout camp and said he planned to leave him there, despite the death. Several hundred children from about 15 Boy Scout troops were there, he said.
“It’s hard to leave your son there when you know what happened, but I don’t think it’s psychologically scarring for the kids who aren’t connected to that family and that troop,” Raicevic said.
Reporting by Marty Graham, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Doina Chiacu and Peter Cooney