15-year-old shot with BB gun at birthday party dies at Children’s Hospital

Updated: Nov. 4, 2019 at 9:38 PM EST
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CHEVIOT, Ohio (FOX19) - A Cheviot family is mourning the loss of their 15-year-old son Emarion Gordon.

He was laid to rest this past Saturday.

The 15-year-old was rushed to Children’s Hospital after being shot with a BB gun on Oct. 19 in the 2500 block of Mustang Drive in Westwood.

The case is currently under investigation by Cincinnati’s Homicide Unit for felonious assault, but police point out that doesn’t mean a crime was committed.

The family told FOX19 NOW Emarion was taken off life support on Oct. 23 at 1:44 p.m.

His parents believe if he had received help sooner he might be alive today.

When he was shot with the BB gun, the teens he was in the room with did not immediately notify an adult. They would eventually call 911, but Emarion’s father, Anthony Thomas, was unsure how much time had passed before they called.

Even after 911 was called the teens, according to Thomas, still did not notify an adult. They were not made aware until police arrived, Thomas said.

He said he was told that his son was leaving the house to go home.

Emarion thought he forgot his keys and turned back around.

“(He) and one little boy was… engaged in horseplay or whatever. And the other young man had the BB rifle. He pulled the trigger and that’s when it hit my son in the chest,” Thomas said.

The pellet struck an artery which supplied blood to the brain, and he was bleeding internally his father told FOX19 NOW.

The police report does not give a narrative of the circumstances surrounding the shooting, but does state, “suspect recklessly caused serious physical harm to victim by shooting victim in the chest with a BB gun.”

The family said they were told Emarion said he couldn’t breathe and that he was picked up and placed on a bed. It’s also not clear how long it took for 911 to be called.

“I’m hurt that I wasn’t there,” said Ebony Gordon, Emarion’s mother. “I know he was scared. I know there were things going through his brain like ‘I was just trying to get home.’ That’s the part that bothers me the most. That’s the part that scares me the most. That we weren’t there to help him."

The police report does not list the name of the teen who shot Emarion because he is a minor. The father said the shooter was a friend of the teen who lives in the house on Mustang Drive.

FOX19 NOW spoke to an adult woman in the house who did not want to be identified.

She was crying as she said, “I can't imagine how they must feel. It's just so traumatizing I can't believe it. But they are in my prayers every single day. I just can't begin to imagine what they are going through. And I am so, so, so sorry.”

After police arrived and Emarion was rushed to Children’s Hospital, his mother would be given some grave news.

“We were told the next 24 to 48 hours were really critical,” she said.

Sadly, his mother said she was told by doctors that her son had no brain function.

At 1:44 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, they pulled their son off life support.

But in his death, he gave life. His mother said her son’s liver was donated.

“As hard as the decision was we knew that that’s what he would have wanted. To be able to help someone else even in his death," she said.

Emarion's parents are patiently awaiting for the investigation to be finished. They said the shooters parents have not reached out to them.

They feel there is a lingering question out there. Was this intentional or was this an accident?

The 15-year-old went to Dater High School and the principal released the following statement.

“The Cincinnati Police Department is investigating the incident, and, based on the information school officials have received thus far, we believe Emarion’s death was an accident.”

“I hate to see anybody to have to live with something like this if it was indeed accident,” Thomas said. “I mean he is going to have to live with this for the rest of his life anyway. But if he intentionally shot my son with this BB gun... I hope he is prosecuted.”

His case remains under investigation.

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