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Hinckley Man Charged in Child's Shooting Death

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

A 26-year-old Hinckley man is facing manslaughter charges after his 3-year-old son fatally shot himself.

According to the criminal complaint, responders were called to a property in Hinckley on Aug. 8 with the report of a child who had shot himself in the head and was not breathing.

The complaint stated that a Pine County Sheriff's deputy was met in the driveway by a man identified as Roy Pauza-Moore. Deputies later located the child being tended to by a man identified as Joseph Gebhart, Pauza-Moore's roommate.

The child was declared dead at 9:26 p.m. An autopsy identified a shot to the head as the cause of death.

In an interview with investigators, Pauza-Moore said his son was in the bedroom watching movies on his phone alone while he played video games downstairs. He reportedly sent his son upstairs to charge the phone, so he could finish watching a show before bed.

He reported to have heard a thump and a gunshot. When he went upstairs, he stated that he found the victim on the floor with a 9mm handgun next to the victim.

Pauza-Moore told investigators that the handgun was loaded and sitting on a shelf in his unlocked gun safe. He said they found the safe tipped over when he and Gebhard entered the room, and they put the safe back upright when they found his son on the floor bleeding.

Pauza-Moore stated that he believed his son had tipped the safe over because he had done it before. He also stated that he kept his handgun loaded in an unenclosed and unsecured area of the safe.

He told deputies that the gun did not have any safety mechanisms on it.

Along with the handgun, deputies found an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle that was unloaded and a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that was loaded with a round in the chamber.

Later on Aug. 10, Pine County deputies spoke with the child's mother. She reported that Pauza-Moore had three guns. She said that he kept the rifles in a closet, but she often saw the handgun on his desk.

She reportedly told Pauza-Moore to keep the guns locked up and out of reach of the children.

Roy Pauza-Moore has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one count of child endangerment, and one count of negligent storage of firearms.

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