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11-year-old boy shoots self in the head during live Zoom instruction. School support director notes noticeable uptick in depressed, anxious students.

Horrific

Image source: KOVR-TV video screenshot

Authorities say a sixth-grade student shot himself in the head during a Zoom distance learning conference, according to KCRA-TV.

A spokesperson for the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the incident took place Wednesday in a news release shared to its Facebook page.

What are the details?

Officials reported that the victim — an 11-year-old boy — died at a nearby hospital after suffering self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while he was attending Zoom instruction. KOVR-TV reported that the child had his microphone and camera turned off when the shooting took place.

The outlet noted that the child's sister, attending her own Zoom conference in another room in the house, discovered the horrific scene and alerted her neighbor and teacher.

Deputies arrived on the scene in Woodbridge, California, to find the child with a head injury. Neighbors said they heard the child's sister running out of the home and screaming for help after the shooting.

"The sister come here, banging on the door," one neighbor said, which prompted him to call authorities. "That little boy was one the [sic] nicest little boys you'll ever want to know. He was special. Easygoing. He was the type of person who would never hurt anybody. Soft-spoken with a beautiful smile."

What did the support director say?

According to KXTV-TV, Paul Warren — Lodi Unified School District student support director — said the school district has seen an uptick in the number of "anxious and depressed students, as the students' routines have been interrupted and they aren't able to socialize amid the pandemic."

In a statement, the Lodi Unified School District said that counseling and support services are available to affected students and staff members.

"Our thoughts are with the family affected by this terrible tragedy," a letter to parents read. "We also offer our condolences to the Woodbridge Elementary community."

David Bain, Sacramento, California's executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, told the station that parents must remain vigilant about their child's mental health.

"Avoid saying things like, 'You will get over it,' or 'Toughen up.' Be empathetic and understanding of how they feel. Tell them whatever is going on won't change how you feel about them, that you still love them and care for them," Bain advised.

Authorities are investigating the boy's death. The gun was reportedly registered to an adult in the home.

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