Brothers' game of 'cops and robbers' turns deadly in Eagan

By Nick Ferraro / St. Paul Pioneer Press EAGAN, Minn. - The 13-year-old Eagan boy who died Sunday morning was accidentally shot in the chest by his older brother with their father's handgun during a game of "cops and robbers," police said Monday....

By Nick Ferraro / St. Paul Pioneer Press

EAGAN, Minn. - The 13-year-old Eagan boy who died Sunday morning was accidentally shot in the chest by his older brother with their father’s handgun during a game of “cops and robbers,” police said Monday.

The victim’s 15-year-old brother initially told emergency dispatchers about 11:30 a.m. that his brother - identified Monday as Suhayb Jamal Hassan - was running with a knife inside their home, fell and accidentally stabbed himself, said police detective Desiree Schroepfer, a department spokeswoman. The 15-year-old reported that his brother was unresponsive and bleeding from a wound. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police initially described the incident as “suspicious,” and after questioning, the 15-year-old admitted to investigators that he had accidentally shot his brother, Schroepfer said.

The victim was an eighth-grader at Blackhawk Middle School in Eagan, Schroepfer said.


School district officials said the school notified students of Suhayb’s death Monday morning and provided additional counselors.

“Many of them knew what had happened by the time they arrived at school this morning,” said Tony Taschner, spokesman for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district.

Police have not released the name of the 15-year-old boy. Schroepfer said the investigation was continuing.

Investigators said the boys recently had learned that their father owned a handgun and kept it in the home in the 1700 block of Silver Bell Circle.

While home alone with their 11-year-old sister, the boys found the hidden 9 mm pistol. The handgun was unloaded, but a loaded magazine was nearby.

At some point, the gun was loaded, then thought to be unloaded. The boys were chasing each other while playing “cops and robbers,” Schroepfer said.

The 15-year-old pulled the trigger and unintentionally fired one round toward his brother, Schroepfer said. His brother was struck in the chest.

The sister was uninjured and did not witness the shooting, police said.


Police said the shooting appeared to be a “horrible accident.” Schroepfer said no arrests were expected.

However, police said the results of their investigation will be turned over to the Dakota County attorney’s office.

On Monday afternoon, no one answered the door at the family’s home, a split-level house in a cul-de-sac.

A neighbor said she often saw the two boys walking to school in the morning. The parents also have a second daughter, the neighbor said.

“I think they have rented the home for about two years,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified. “It’s so sad. You hear about this happening a lot ... kids playing with guns.”

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service

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