Noelle Aston Shawver - A young girl was shot dead by a neighborhood boy in what police describe is a tragic accidental shooting during a playdate. Kaeley Shawver, Noelle Aston’s aunt, said that the family did not blame the five-year-old boy who shot her five-year-old niece.
Police have released few details, citing an ongoing investigation. A funeral is planned for this coming Wednesday in Blackfoot, Idaho. Police say emergency workers responded at about 3pm on Wednesday and took Shawver to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.
“Virtual strangers have been coming forward and donating money as well as sharing loving messages, in hopes of comforting Noelle’s family, even just a little bit,” The Inquisitr reports. As of Friday morning, more than $19,000 had been donated to the fund. Relatives said that the money would also go towards counseling and supporting the family in time away from work.
Police said adults were in the home at the time of the shooting but were in a different room from the children. Investigators have not released the type of gun involved or said how the children got access to it. The Noelle Aston Shawver’ parents, Drew and Stacie Shawver, also have two younger children, a boy and a girl.
Noelle Aston Shawver’s family have been raising money for funeral expenses through their GoFundMe page. The family told KPVI that Noelle was a “bright and loving” child who was due to start kindergarten in the fall. The GoFundMe page says:
“Your generosity is simply amazing! We are near our goal but I don’t want to stop there … Please keep donating as the family will incur several other expenses ie. medical, time off work, counseling and such. Every dollar is greatly appreciated!!”
It is currently unknown how the other 5-year-old gained access to the weapon and the circumstances surrounding its discharge. Police are currently investigating the events and refuse to release more details. Lt. Bill Guiberson of the Chubbuck Police Department said:
“We are not releasing any of that … Obviously that’s part of the investigation.”
Noelle Aston Shawver’s death has highlighted the risk faced by children in homes where guns are kept. In June a study by Everytown for Gun Safety said nearly two children a week were killed in the United States as a result of accidental shootings. In most cases, the group found, deaths were the result of a child playing with a gun.