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Emergency vehicle lights flashing, police car inspecting city, security service

Emergency vehicle lights flashing, police car inspecting city, security service

The father of the boy who was shot and killed near Radersburg Thursday is being charged with negligent homicide.

Cadet Lacunza told authorities he accidentally shot his 11-year-old son Caden in the head while they were on a family camping trip near Crow Creek Falls, according to charging documents filed in Broadwater County District Court. 

The shooting was reported to Broadwater County Dispatch at 5 p.m. Thursday. Broadwater County's ambulance met the party on Highway 285 and initiated life-saving procedures, but the boy died at the scene. 

The charging documents say a Broadwater County sheriff's sergeant recited the Miranda warning to  Lacunza, who waived his right to remain silent and said he had shot his son in the head.

Lacunza also consented to a blood draw and said there would be some THC in his blood, according to court documents.

Gallatin County Sheriff's Office detectives arrived to help process the crime scene and speak with the suspect. 

Lacunza told authorities he saw his family near the campfire when he decided to shoot his .357 revolver. He told them he lost track of his son and was not firing at anything in particular when he saw the boy fall forward. 

Lacunza told officials he ran and picked up his son. He said he could not drive his truck because it had a flat tire, but a family friend who came to the site drove them toward Radersburg. 

The friend told authorities the boy had caught two fish and went to clean them in the stream before he was shot. The friend said Lacunza was normally very careful with firearms but acted recklessly, as he fired near a tent that had another child inside.

Detectives found the pistol at the scene with one round expended. They also found one cleaned fish in the river, along with another fish that had just started to be cleaned. 

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They determined Lacunza could not have seen his son at the time because the boy was obscured by tree branches, according to court documents.

Lacunza told authorities he was normally safe while handling firearms and had taught his son the rules of safety. He also told them he had violated all the rules of safety and had been "negligent" and "reckless."

Another witness said Lacunza has a history of firing a gun unexpectedly around other people.

Lacunza was released on his own recognizance. He was required to complete a mental evaluation within two days, and he is not allowed to possess firearms or use alcohol or drugs. 

All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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