PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Shocking new details are emerging Tuesday, in the case of a 9-year-old boy who was allegedly shot dead by his brother.
Phoenix police say officers responded to a call of a shooting at a home on the 2500 block of W. Rosewood Drive at about 3 p.m. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the boy, who was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition.
According to a statement released by Phoenix police Tuesday evening, the boy, identified as Landen Lavarnia, was pronounced dead.
The victim's parents, identified as Wendy Lavarnia and Kansas Lavarnia, have been arrested. The mother, Wendy, is facing charges of alleged child abuse. Meanwhile, the father, Kansas, is charged with allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun.
Wendy, 28, made her first appearance in a jailhouse courtroom Tuesday. She reportedly told police she was home during the shooting, along with three other children, and allegedly placed a loaded gun on the bed within reach of her children and turned around to see her 2-year-old child holding the gun when her 9-year-old son was shot.
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According to police, Wendy reportedly lad the little boy pull the gun's trigger before, when it was unloaded.
"It's a terrible tragedy," said neighbor Joan Turner, who lives two doors down from the Lavarnias. "I can't believe it happened here."
Meanwhile, other neighbors said they had their doubts about the way Wendy and Kansas cared for their four children.
"They ran around with no clothes, stuff like that," said Randy Scheller.