According to police
, a 12-year-old boy died Saturday after accidentally shooting
himself with a gun
brought to a sleepover at his Southern California
home by a friend.
The Chula Vista
Police Department said in a news
release that investigators are still looking into how the 15-year-old friend, whose name was withheld, came into possession of the firearm and that he has been questioned.
According to police, the victim, Max Mendoza, was shot inside his condominium complex home.
“Sometime during the sleepover, it appears the victim was given access to the firearm while inside the residence and then accidentally shot himself, and the victim was then moved outside by family
members, where he was located by officers,” according to the statement.
Officers and paramedics tried to save the boy's life before transporting him to a hospital
, where he was pronounced dead, according to the statement.
“Max was a truly special guy. He was charming and funny
. He had a heart twice the size of the average kid,” according to a GoFundMe
page set up to raise money
for Max’s funeral expenses.
“He was always willing to share whatever little he had with his classmates, even if they weren’t his closest friends
; Max was a kind-hearted kid who was always willing to step up
and help anyone at any time.”
Max was remembered as a kind and caring young boy by family and neighbors, and his sister told CBS 8 San Diego
that "he had so much to live for. He still had his entire life ahead of him."
“The whole neighborhood cried because he’s so special,” a neighbor told the Los Angeles
Times, adding that “it hurts that he’s gone. He was taken from us too soon.”