TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD/Gray News) – Tragedy struck an Arizona family just days before Christmas when a child died after being shot in the chest at a target practice area.
Bradley John Shockley, 8, was fatally shot Monday afternoon.
Ella Scofield, Bradley’s mom, says the incident was an “accident.”
“It was a complete accident and he tragically got shot,” she said.
Scofield says Bradley was riding on the back of a friend’s four-wheeler and they went to a place they were told not to. The area was near a place where other people were target shooting.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office says Bradley was shot in the chest with a .22-caliber pellet fired from a high-powered air rifle. He was pronounced dead at Benson Hospital less than an hour later.
Scofield has a stack of pictures to help tell the story of Bradley, who she says loved his little brother, spaghetti and reading. She says he already had an idea of what he was getting for Christmas.
“He kept going over and looking at his presents,” Scofield said. “He’s not allowed to touch them because if he shakes them he’ll guess what they are. He is so smart. So he’d sit there and look at them and try to guess what they were. We got him a big box of books because he liked to read and he knew exactly what that present was without even having to touch it.”
She and her husband Ricky Scofield struggle with the sudden loss of Bradley. She says the people who were target shooting and accidentally shot Bradley are having “a really hard time.”
“We let them know that we don’t have any hard feelings against them and that we love them dearly and the kids are still welcome to come over if they want,” Scofield said.
The family will have to rely on each other for strength, with only precious photos of Bradley to look at as Christmas approaches.
“We have to be strong and it’s hard but we’re trying,” Scofield said.
The sheriff’s office says it will complete its investigation and submit it to the county attorney for review.
A GoFundMe was started to help the family.
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