A man shot and killed his teenage son in their Cincinnati home after mistaking the boy for an intruder on Tuesday, officials said.
The father had dropped off his 14-year-old son at the school bus stop, but the teen, identified as Georta Mack, returned home and hid in the basement, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The man reportedly heard a noise in the basement and checked on it with a gun in his hands, firing after apparently being startled, and hitting his son in the neck about 6:30 a.m.
“I just shot my son by accident,” the boy’s father told a 911 operator, according to WCPO-TV.
“He scared me. I thought he was in school. I heard noise and then I went downstairs looking. He jumped out at me. I shot him.”
Mack was rushed to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he died around 8:15 a.m., the Enquirer wrote.
Neighbors told the news site that Mack lived in the East Price Hill home with his 73-year-old father and that the two seemed to get along.
Mack was a student at Riverview East Academy until last May, according to reports.
Friends took to social media to express their grief over the tragedy, writing tributes to Mack, whom they adoringly referred to as “Dae Dae.”
“This boy kept me laughing,” one devastated friend wrote on Facebook.
“Swear I’ll never forget Georta Mack(‘s) smile,” another teen wrote.
Authorities said the father was being interviewed by police and had been cooperative. He apparently told officers that his son returned home to skip school.
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac called the shooting a "terrible, terrible tragedy'' at a press conference. “It's unimaginable, really.''