Sheriff: Children playing with gun led to fatal Grant Co. shooting

Boy, 8, killed while playing with gun
Sheriff: Children playing with gun led to fatal Grant Co. shooting

The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said children playing with a gun led to the death of an 8-year-old boy last Friday in Jamestown Township in rural Grant County.

Investigators said 8-year-old Gavin Klenzman was killed.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, he and two other children gained access to a gun and when they were handling it, the gun discharged and struck Gavin in the head. He died at the scene.

Detective Sgt. Travis Klaas said that in 15 years on the job, he can only remember one other incident like this.

“It’s tragic for everybody,” Klaas said. “It’s always a tragedy when you respond to a death and it especially makes it that much more bothersome when it’s a child.”

News of the shooting death spread quickly in the small town outside Cuba City.

Sheriff: Children playing with gun led to fatal Grant Co. shooting

Resident Roger Mueller said he heard about it on the radio.

“Then they said his 11- or 12-year-old sister had a gun, cleaning it or something, and it went off and killed him, and that’s all I know,” Mueller said.

The Sheriff’s Department is urging parents to make sure all firearms are locked up and not accessible to children. Klaas said that what happened to Gavin is preventable by using gun locks.

“I know most Sheriff’s Departments across the state have free safety locks,” Klaas said.

That includes the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, where anybody can pick up a cable-style gun safety lock for free.

“It’s a real sad situation at that age and just getting started in life and having fun,” Mueller said.

His published obituary said Gavin died at his home near Cuba City. Gavin attended Fulton Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa, where he would have been in the third grade. Gavin’s family buried him in a cemetery in Dubuque on Tuesday.

Grant County sheriff’s officials said the shooting death is still under investigation. There’s no word if any charges will be filed.  

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