CINCINNATI — An armed man who believed he was confronting an intruder in the basement of his home Tuesday morning instead fatally shot his 14-year-old son, who was supposed to be on his way to school, police said.
Police said the teen had headed to the bus stop but apparently came back home through a back door. The man said he heard a noise in the basement. Police said when the father opened a door within the basement, the boy appeared.
"He scared me!" the distraught father said in his 911 call shortly before 6:30 a.m. "I thought he was in school. I heard noise, so I went downstairs looking and he jumped out at me. .... Oh, God. Get here quick!"
The man told police he accidentally shot his son with a .45-caliber handgun. After initially telling the 911 dispatcher the boy was hit in the chest, he then said it was in the neck. The dispatcher told him to put the gun on the kitchen counter, then talked him through first aid steps and tried to calm him until police and emergency vehicles arrived.
The boy died at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Police identified him as Georta Mack. They didn't immediately release the name of the father, who's heard in the tape repeatedly shouting, "Oh, God, please hurry! Oh, God!"
Police officials said the Hamilton County prosecutor's office will decide whether there should be any charges against the father.
"These types of tragedies are so horrific, they're even unimaginable," Police Chief Eliot Isaac told reporters.
A police officer at the scene told reporters that the boy had apparently decided he wasn't going to school and returned home through the back door.
Cincinnati has made reducing gun violence a top priority for 2016. Isaac said the shooting Tuesday underscored some important messages.
He said those who have guns in their homes should get training and make sure the weapons are kept secured.
Referring to indications the boy had planned to skip school, Isaac said children should "tell the truth: make sure your parents know where you are, absolutely."