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Boy, 7, dies in shooting accident

October 18, 2011

By Alison Boggs, The Spokesman-Review

A 7-year-old Coeur d’Alene boy was killed Saturday night near Harrison when his father placed a hunting rifle into a vehicle where the boy was sitting and it went off.

Conner Bartlett, a second-grader at Skyway Elementary School, died at the O’Gara Road fire station, near Harrison, a news release from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department said. Northwest Medstar personnel had landed there to take him to the hospital, the release said.

Conner had accompanied family members, including his father, Robert A.
Bartlett, 36, of St. Maries, on a hunting trip to a property in southeast Kootenai County. The shooting occurred around 7:40 p.m. in the 4600 block of Sunset Drive, off state Highway 97.

Grief counselors for the Coeur d’Alene School District met Sunday and were at Skyway on Monday, said Laura Rumpler, a spokeswoman. District officials emailed parents on Sunday and sent a letter home with students on Monday. In addition, all Skyway teachers read a short statement to students Monday.

Substitute teachers are also on hand to fill in for Skyway teachers, Rumpler said. “Some of the teachers are taking it very hard.”

Conner Bartlett lived with his mother in Coeur d’Alene, a news release from the sheriff’s office said. Rumpler said the boy had transferred into the Coeur d’Alene School District near the end of last year and had no siblings within the district.

“This is just a very, very tragic accident, no question about it,” said sheriff’s Capt. Dan Soumas. An investigation is continuing, he said. “There’s a process to be followed. That’s the law and that’s what we do.”

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