A Boy Scout wears an Eagle Scout neckerchief at the Texas State Capitol in 2013. / Eric Gay, AP
A 12-year-old Las Vegas boy apparently shot himself to death Monday at a Boy Scout camp on an island off San Diego, authorities said.
Police Officer Matt Tortorella told USA TODAY that police received a call at 7:36 a.m. saying a boy had shot himself in the head. But Homicide Lt. Mike Hastings said the boy was shot in the chest, the San Diego Union-Tribunereported.
Tortorella said he could not confirm reports from multiple media outlets, including the U-T, that the shooting was reported as a suicide and not an accident. He said the boy was found in a tent suffering from at least one gunshot wound with a handgun nearby.
Officers and an emergency medical team responded, but attempts to resuscitate the boy at the scene were unsuccessful, Tortorella said.
Investigators were trying to determine who owns the gun and how it ended up at the camp. The Scouts forbid personal firearms at its events.
About 20 Scouts from Las Vegas arrived in San Diego over the weekend for the week-long camp on Fiesta Island in Mission Bay Park. The boy's father and Scout leaders were at the camp and were being interviewed by officers, police said.
Bob Jones, 81, said his grandson was at the camp. "I would never expect that at a Scout camp," he told nbcsandiego.com. He expressed sympathies for the family of the victim and concern for his grandson. "I know this will affect him emotionally so I would just like to be there for him."
Camp volunteer Kevin Brennan, 54, told the Union-Tribune he had heard what sounded like gunshots but didn't think anything of it, he said. "It's absolutely tragic," Brennan said.
The program allows Scouts to camp, sail and build leadership skills while earning merit badges. A counselor told nbcsandiego.com there was no firearms program at the camp.
The Boy Scouts said grief counselors were sent to work with the children.
"This is an extremely sad day for our entire scouting family," Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and all those who experienced this tragedy. Our top priority is providing support to our community and for those in the grieving process."
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