Benson, Arizona – A tragic incident unfolded in Benson, Arizona, just days before Christmas when an eight-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the chest. Bradley John Shockley lost his life on Monday after he and a friend mistakenly drove through a restricted area, which happened to be a target practice range. The fatal blow came from a .22-caliber bullet fired from a high-powered air rifle, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
Reports indicate that Shockley was riding on his friend’s four-wheeler when they unknowingly passed through the target practice area. Upon arrival at the hospital, Shockley was pronounced dead less than an hour after the shooting occurred. His devastated mother, Ella Scofield, spoke to a local outlet about the tragic accident, describing it as a complete accident and expressing her grief over the loss of her son.
In the wake of the incident, Shockley’s family fondly remembers him for his love of books and spaghetti. Scofield tearfully shared how he would sit by the Christmas presents, “He kept going over and looking at his presents,” Ella said. “He’s not allowed to touch them because if he shakes them, he’ll guess what they are. He is so smart. So he’d sit there and look at them and try to guess what they were.” His family had prepared a “big box of books” as a special gift for him.
The shooter, who was known to the family, is also said to be struggling with the loss of Shockley. In a recent visit, Shockley’s family reassured the shooter that they hold no hard feelings and that they still have love for them and their children. Shockley said, “They’re having a hard time, too. A really hard time.”
Shockley’s celebration of life is scheduled for December 29th and will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. David, Arizona. His favorite dish, spaghetti, will be served during the event. The family will have to rely on each other for strength, with only precious photos of Bradley John to look at as Christmas approaches.
“We have to be strong and it’s hard but we’re trying,” Ella said.
As the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation, it plans to present its findings to the county attorney for further action.