The last thing 8-year-old Jarrod “J.C.” Winkles told his stepmother was he was having a fun Christmas and was excited his relatives were in town.
But his 8-year-old cousin accidentally shot him Thursday. The Meridian elementary school student died at 2:30 a.m. Friday in a Boise hospital. Charges will not be filed in the case, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Bourne said.
“The whole family is just broken up,” family friend Ronda Critser said Friday. “They just want a strong message put out to the public how unnecessary this was: It doesn’t matter if it’s your house, a relative’s house or a friend’s house, the guns need to be locked up and ammunition stored separately.”
Jarrod’s father and stepmother, Cyndi Duncan, dropped him off at his great-grandmother’s Boise home to spend Thursday night. The boy and his cousin from Dayton, Ohio, were playing with plastic guns when the girl found a .22-caliber revolver under the woman’s pillow.
Apparently thinking it was a toy, the cousin pointed it at Jarrod and pulled the trigger, hitting him in the chest. The boy died in the intensive-care unit.