WILTON -- A 12-year-old accidentally shot and killed his friend, also 12, inside a Wilton home on Wednesday, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff James Bowen said the boy was handling his father's handgun when it went off, shooting the other boy, identified as Nicholas Naumkin, in the head.
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said the boys believed the gun was not loaded.
Naumkin was rushed to Albany Medical Center where he died late Wednesday night.
Both were students at the Maple Avenue Middle School in the Saratoga Springs City School District. Principal Stuart Byrne is putting together the school's crisis team.
It’s unclear whether the shooter will return to school.
“Nothing we do will bring this family their son back, but we owe it to them to thoroughly investigate this case and that is what Sheriff Bowen and I intend to do,” Murphy said in a media release. “He and I and our staff will be working over the holiday weekend in order to make sure that every aspect of this case is examined and that we come to a conclusion on how to proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Murphy said the boy and his parents are cooperating with the Sheriff's Department.
Mother: Nicholas was an amazing son
In a phone conversation with CBS 6, Naumkin's mother said her son was "amazing," a gentle and polite boy who had many friends and was always interested in talking with other people.
Mrs. Naumkin said Nicholas was creative and artistic, and wanted to be an actor like his father Yuri, who was famous in Moscow in the late 1970s before he emigrated to Brooklyn.
Nicholas was born in Brooklyn, but the family decided to move up to Saratoga Springs four and a half years ago because they loved visiting the town: "It was beautiful and safe," said Mrs. Naumkin. "We wanted to get away from all that in Brooklyn," she said, referring to guns and shootings.
Nicholas had just gone to his first school dance earlier this month, said his mother. And he was constantly there for his 7-year-old mildly autistic brother. "He was always there for him," she said. "He would read books to him."
Mrs. Naumkin said she had not yet spoken to the parents of the other boy and that she did not think she would be able to for some time. "My heart goes out to them because they're suffering, too," she said, but she was angry the gun was not properly secured and stored away.
Family members were arriving from across the country to support the Naumkins. Mrs. Naumkin said they still have not notified their families in Russia of Nicholas's death.
"I don't know what to say," Mrs. Naumkin said tearfully. "I'm just numb."