On Friday, two cousins, Paris Harvey and Kuaron Harvey, died in what family members are labeling a “tragic accident” after playing with a gun during an Instagram Live video. 

While the police originally believed the deaths to be a murder-suicide, they are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. The St. Louis Police Department expressed their sympathy via social media, writing, “We are sending our heartfelt condolences to the family of 12-year-old Paris Harvey and 14-year-old Kuaron Harvey who tragically passed away on 03/25/22.”

“Kuaron’s mother and Paris’ father are siblings,”—both children had grown up together and were very close. The family had all gathered together that night for a celebration of their relatives’ March birthdays. 

Prior to the shooting, both Paris and Kuaron were in the bathroom filming a video in the mirror. Paris’ mother, Shinise Harvey said, “They [were making a video and she was playing with the gun, but it went off and hit him…To my knowledge, then she picked it up, she picked it up by the barrel, and it went off again…It was not a suicide. It was just a freak accident.” Harvey added, “‘It was no murder’…the cousins were ‘trying to be too hip.’”

Susan Dyson, Paris’ grandmother said, “It wasn’t a situation where they were arguing or anything like that…They were playing with the gun, when they shouldn’t have been. Of course they shouldn’t have been doing it. I think it just went off. It went off by mistake.” 

Paris and Kuaron were found unresponsive in the early hours of Saturday morning, and “both were later pronounced dead at the scene.” 

As the family mourns their losses, they remember Paris as being “a funny seventh grader who loved getting her hair and nails done and had a beautiful face.” Kuaron is described “as a goofy eighth grader who had long been able to do backflips.”

The video is currently circulating on social media.