15-year-old boy dies in accidental, self-inflicted shooting on Indy’s north side

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Police say a 15-year-old boy died in an accidental, self-inflicted shooting on the north side of Indianapolis early Friday morning.

The incident happened in the 8700 block of Pemberton Circle shortly after 2 a.m. in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Detectives say three juveniles were inside a vehicle when the victim accidentally shot himself.

The victim was identified as Khalil Bankhead. He was a student at North Central High School.

“Regardless of the circumstances, we have 3 juveniles at 2 in the morning with no parent around and that's troublesome,” said IMPD Major Harold Turner.

Police said it didn't appear any of the teens lived at the apartment complex. They're working to find out if the apartment complex has surveillance cameras. Officials with IMPD hopes the story serves as a lesson about the importance of gun safety. Central Indiana has seen similar tragedies in recent years.

Back in March, 8-year-old Kendrielle Brye died during an apparent accidental shooting inside the family's northeast side home.

In late 2018, 4-year-old Izabella Helem died after being shot by her younger brother inside a home in Lebanon.

In late 2016, 5-year-old D-Asia Turentine was shot and killed by a sibling who pulled a gun from their mother's purse inside their apartment.

"In this city easy access to guns is a problem," reverend Malachi Walker with Young Men Inc said.

During his annual summer youth camp, reverend Walker says gun safety is a top lesson, but he admits 9 times of 10 the kids he works with confess they can easily get their hands on a gun.

"They feel that having a gun they’ve got power and they’ve got safety," Walker said. "That concerns me. It really does."

Walker also agrees with the concerns raised by police on scene overnight, that parents have to play a role in keeping their kids safe.

"Parents have got to be aware of where your children are.  That is your obligation," said Walker.

"We cannot police our way out of this. We need help from parents. We need them to know where their children are," said Turner.

Police say this case remains an active investigation. Ultimately it will be up to the prosecutor's office to decide whether any criminal charges should be filed.

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