After losing 12-year-old son in hunting accident, Minnesota family urges others to be cautious

A St. Paul family is making a plea to other Minnesota families after losing their 12-year-old son in a hunting accident in rural Cass County.

Two weeks after 12-year-old Jeremy Her died, his parents Blia Xiong and Thai Her, are still in disbelief. FOX 9 spoke with them through a translator at the Hmong 18 Council.

"Let this be a lesson for you as mother: Don't allow your child to go hunting, so you won’t encounter similar experiences that I have. My heart's broken to pieces," said Xiong, Jeremy’s mother.

On Oct. 9, the Cass County Sheriff's Office said the family was hunting squirrels when 12-year-old Jeremy Her was shot by his 47-year-old uncle. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital in the Twin Cities, where he died. The sheriff said the incident was still under investigation.

Jeremy’s family questions how something like this could have happened. Thai Her said he had taken his son hunting that day, and Jeremy had been hunting before.

"I love Jeremy so much. He's a great son, a good son," Her said. "He's a very talented student. He learned things very fast, and he listened to you a lot. He's very skillful."

Funeral services are set for this weekend for Jeremy. More than anything, his family wants to this smiling face again.

"Every day, every night before I go to sleep, I hold my son's pictures, see his smiles and I look at him. I wish (it were) only a dream," Xiong said. "How long is it going to take me to grieve him -- to remove him from my heart, from my mind?"

Jeremy was one of 17 children. His sisters described his love of hot Cheetos and how fast he learned new skills.

"My brother was a very sweet boy. He loved a lot of things, like he loved Korean spicy noodles," said Yuki Her, who was just a year older than her brother Jeremy.

"He loved bike riding, he loved riding his skateboard. He loved to help my dad fix cars, fix like the lawnmower," said Jeremy’s sister Gaojoua Her.

They said Christmas, which would have been Jeremy’s 13th birthday, will be especially difficult this year.