WAUSEON, OH (WTOL) - The uncle of 13-year-old Michael Schwartz says the boy has died. Police confirm Schwartz was shot in a Wauseon home early Wednesday after a gun was accidentally discharged.
According to police, a call about a drive-by shooting came in at 6:56 a.m. at 444 Howard Avenue near Walnut Street. Police found it was not a drive-by, but an accidental shooting.
No adults were in the home at the time of the incident. When crews arrived, Schwartz was found unconscious with one gun shot wound in the upper body. A Wauseon rescue squad tried to revive Schwartz but he succumbed to injuries. He was then rushed to a hospital in Fulton County where he was later pronounced dead.
The call initially came in as a drive-by shooting, but upon further investigation, police do not believe that was the case or that Schwartz was the target of any crime. They don't believe there was malicious intent.
Two juveniles the same age as Schwartz were in the house when it happened, and were brought into questioning by Wauseon police. One teen has been let go but the other is still in custody. No arrests have been made although charges are expected to be formally filed Thursday for reckless or negligent homicide. It is not known yet whether the teen will be charged as a juvenile.
Neighbors say they saw police confiscate a shot gun from the scene.
"The cops were at the back door. They said Michael was just shot and they were gonna life flight him. They never made life flight. They just got as far as the hospital. And we didn't even get to see him alive. He was already gone. They tried, but he was already gone," said Marianne Garza, Schwartz's grandmother.
There were grief counselors at Wauseon Middle School Wednesday where Schwartz attended the seventh grade.
This is the first homicide in Wauseon since 1994.
"I would definitely say this is something out of the ordinary. This is something that I would hope people would learn from and once it's all out there, it's something we can all learn from. Accidents happen but it's nothing I believe the Wauseon Police Department could have done, done anything to prevent," said Chief Keith Torvet of the Wauseon Police Department.
Family members have established a fund to raise money for Schwartz's funeral and burial. People may contribute at any Fifth Third Bank branch to the Michael Schwartz Junior Fund.
Stay with WTOL as we continue to follow this developing story.
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