13-year-old accidentally shot handling gun in Moorhead wooded area

A 13-year-old is dead after a group of juveniles were handling a handgun in a wooded area, and he was accidentally shot.

Zain Hussein Mezher, 13, of Moorhead, Minnesota, died Friday, June 23, of an accidental gunshot wound, according to an announcement by the Moorhead Police Department.

According to police, officers were alerted to an accidental shooting in the 900 block of 19 Street South, with the victim in a wooded area in the 1000 block of 19 Street South. A group of juveniles had acquired a handgun and were handling it in a wooded area, when the handgun discharged, striking the victim, police say. The handgun was later recovered and secured by the Moorhead Police Department.

An autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner later concluded the preliminary cause of death was a single gunshot wound.

The Clay County Attorney's Office and the MN Bureau of Apprehension (BCA) are actively assisting in the investigation. Any potential charges will be the decision of the Clay County Attorney's Office when the case has concluded, the announcement said.