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Son of Gun Safety Instructor Accidentally Kills Cousin on Hunting Trip

Photo of the San Jacinto Mountains by jeffkingla via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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A 14-year-old boy was accidentally shot to death by his cousin while the two were on a deer hunting trip in the San Jacinto Mountains over the Thanksgiving weekend.Isreal Delatorre was killed on a trip with his uncle Guillermo Delatorre, who — irony of ironies (in an Alanis Morisette way) — was a local hunting safety instructor. Guillermo said Isreal had received 30 hours of gun safety training and was passionate about hunting, but that training didn't stop him from getting excited when he saw his first deer. Guillermo told him to stay put when he saw a deer, but Isreal got excited and bolted forward — and in the line of fire. Guillermo's son, whose name will not be released, fired the fatal shot.

"I don't know what I could have done different," he told the Palm Springs Desert Sun. "I know 100 percent deep in my conscience that kid knew what to do, and my son knew what to do [...] I don't know why he got in front."

Hunting fatalities are relatively rare. According to the most recent statistics on hunting accidents provided by the International Hunter Education Association, 19 people were killed while hunting in 2007 in the US and Canada. Most hunting accidents hurt adults and not juveniles, who usually have their hunting instruction fresh in their minds, experts told the Sun. But the fact that no amount of training stopped Saturday afternoon's tragic accident will likely haunt Isreal's family.

“It is hard for me to explain to a father that his kid is dead, when I had him,” Guillermo told the Sun, while choking up.