Family of an 11-year-old boy who died after an incident during a virtual Zoom school class have argued against claims the child intentionally took his own life.
Adan Llanos died in hospital in San Joaquin County in the US state of California on Wednesday (local time) after being rushed from his home with a gunshot wound, ABC10 reported.
His sister, who was taking a virtual class in another room, found her brother fatally injured and alerted both a teacher and a neighbour, who assisted in contacting emergency services.
Detectives investigating the incident revealed preliminary findings indicated “this was an intentional act, not an accident”, according to Fox News.
But Adan’s uncle has since argued otherwise, taking to social media in a plea requesting the public stop speculating over the motive of his nephew’s death.
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform everyone that on December 2 my nephew; Adan Manuel Llanos, has passed and is in heaven,” Adan’s uncle, Luis Llanos, wrote on Facebook.
“He was a wonderful child full of life and joy. He was the most respectful and sweetest boy I’ve ever had the honour of calling my nephew.”
Referencing a link to a GoFundMe page established to support the boy’s family financially, Mr Llanos pleaded with the public to “please help our family in need”.
“We ask of you all to please refrain from any speculation and if you see any comments politely ask them to only say positive things,” he wrote, adding that Adan “was not suicidal”.
“This young man was an angel that we had the privilege of knowing! We thank each and every one of you for your love and prayers; it is really needed.”
Adan attended Woodbridge Elementary School, part of the Lodi Unified School District, which has since issued a statement regarding his death.
Cathy Nichols-Washer, superintendent of the school district, said the community was “deeply saddened” by Adan’s death and urged parents to seek help for their struggling children.
“Counselling and bereavement support services are available to students and staff during this difficult time,” the statement shared to Facebook read.
“Our thoughts are with the family affected by this terrible tragedy. We also offer our condolences to the Woodbridge Elementary community.
“If you have concerns about your child’s reaction to this loss, please contact your child’s school site for support services.”
Feeling worried or struggling to cope during the Coronavirus pandemic? Visit coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au or speak with trained counsellors on 1800 512 348.
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