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Shooting Victim, 13, Was ‘Super Kid,’ Father Says : Accident: Kevin Wilsey of Placentia was unintentionally killed while a friend showed him a gun.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The father of 13-year-old Kevin Wilsey on Friday remembered his son as “a super kid” who loved all sports and was planning to play football and baseball at Servite High School this fall.

Those plans were tragically cut short Thursday night when the youth died shortly after being accidentally shot with a handgun being shown to him by his friend, also 13.

“Everybody loved Kevin,” Robert Wilsey said, choking back tears. “He had a great personality, a great sense of humor and was just a wonderful kid. He was my best friend.”

Police said the boys were in the upstairs bedroom of the friend’s home in the 500 block of Loyola Drive when the 9:35 p.m. accident occurred. No one else was in the house at the time.

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Robert Wilsey said the boys had been friends for two years and had played Little League baseball together. Police refused to release the name of the boy who fired the gun because he is a minor and has not been charged with a crime.

“It can be established that the boy did not mean to shoot his friend,” Placentia police spokeswoman Corinne Loomis said. “The boy was showing his father’s gun to Kevin in his father’s bedroom. He may have been operating under the assumption that because there was no clip in the gun, it did not have any bullets. The gun was heavy and he was holding it high and accidentally squeezed a shot off.”

Kevin was hit in the upper torso and was unconscious when paramedics arrived. He died at UCI Medical Center in Orange a short time later.

The 9-millimeter gun was kept behind a bed inside a nylon zipper case, Loomis said.

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“He knew his father hid the gun upstairs and admitted to us that on prior occasions he had handled the weapon even though his father had instructed him never to do so,” Loomis said.

Loomis said the Police Department is expected to present the case to the Orange County district attorney’s office early next week, which will decide whether to file charges against the father.

The father, who could not be reached for comment, could be prosecuted under a state law which went into effect in January, 1992, that makes parents criminally responsible for shootings involving their children.

The law allows prosecution as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

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“Unfortunately, this is just another example of the necessity to have a gun in a locked place and keeping the key making the gun absolutely inaccessible to any child,” Loomis said. “No matter how old they are, kids have a curiosity and fascination with firearms that too often overshadows the warnings they got from their parents about not touching the weapon. The guns are like magnets.”

Robert Wilsey said Kevin was a “B” student and was planning to attend UCLA and eventually become a lawyer. He said his son was a Little League all-star who liked all sports and had just started weightlifting.

He said he would never have allowed his son to go to the home of his friend had he known there was a gun there, and he said his son had never expressed any kind of interest in firearms.

“I think if Kevin knew they had a gun, he would have told us,” the father said. “He was very sensitive and would never hurt anybody.”

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A rosary for Kevin will be at 7 p.m. Monday at McAulay and Wallace Mortuary in Fullerton, 902 N. Harbor Blvd. A public viewing will be held at the mortuary Monday from 2 to 5 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Placentia, 717 N. Bradford Ave. Burial will follow at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange.


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