Police: 13-Year-Old Putnam Boy Dies from Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

His body was found Monday night at his home in Southeast.

Putnam officials are investigating the death of a 13-year-old boy who was found by his father at their Elmwood Drive home Monday night.

State troopers at theĀ Southeast BarracksĀ are investigating the death, which they believe to be a suicide. Officials said in a release Tuesday morning that the teen died from an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," but investigators with the State Police were unable, at that time, to say anything about the gun.

The boy's 54-year-old father found his only son upon returning home from a trip to the grocery store.

"He had left his residence less than one hour earlier," authorities said in the statement. "Upon his arrival he discovered his only son, age 13, deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. There was no one else present at the residence at the time of this incident."

State Police and the Putnam County's District Attorney are investigating the case. Officials ask anyone "with important information" related to the case to call 845-279-8656.

Bill Banks January 15, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Immeasurably sad. I can't imagine how awful the father must feel. There are always factors we can't comprehend, and having a gun in the house is only one of many. The gun issue aside, my sincere condolences to the family after this devastating, incomprehensible loss.
Suzanne M January 15, 2013 at 03:43 PM
get the guns out of the house guys :( so sad
Donna January 15, 2013 at 04:24 PM
If you don't get them out of the house lock them up at the VERY least! My condolences.
Mrs Bean January 15, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Gun controls, NOT bans -- responsibility. If it isn't on your person, it should be locked up.
Lavender January 15, 2013 at 08:43 PM
So very, very sad. My deepest condolences to the family. Nobody should have to lose a child so young in such a way.
Paul McGann January 15, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Everyone I know who owns firearms, keeps them locked up and separate from the ammo unless it is on their person. A tragedy and a loss. Too bad the boy didn't get help before he took his own life.
Liz January 15, 2013 at 08:51 PM
so sad... my heart goes out to the family.
Chris Richie January 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM
This is an incomprehensible tragedy. Parents should not have to bury their kids. But getting rid of guns is not the answer. proper training and securing of guns is a better way. If a person wants to kill his or herself or somebody else, sadly they will always find an alternative method. My thoughts and Prayers go out to the family and friends of this poor kid.
Lavender January 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Somebody *truly* intent on killing themselves will, eventually, find a way. Usually after many previous attempts with less-than-lethal methods. I find it difficult to believe that a 13 year old was *that* intent. More likely, as with most people who are suicidal, it was probably a somewhat impulsive act. Having a weapon such as a firearm available meant it became a lethal act rather than the "cry of help" it would have been construed as had another weapon/method been used. And if a gun had not been available in the household, then a less lethal method would probably have been resorted to.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 01:12 AM
The boy was an eighth grader at Henry H. Wells Middle School in Southeast. Superintendent Dr. Jane Sandbank said the district had "no details concerning this tragic event," and the "building and district crisis teams convened early Tuesday morning." They were available for students and staff throughout the day. She said there was also "on-site assistance from regional crisis personnel." "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family," Sandbank said in a statement. "We ask that the media be respectful of and sensitive to the situation and to our primary concern which is taking care of and meeting the needs of our students and staff."
Brenny B January 16, 2013 at 01:20 AM
this was another bullying situation - A relative was a longtime friend of this boy - I don't understand how these tragedies continue to happen. There is help out there!!! Please ask for help, kids!
Adam Payne January 16, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Lavender, I agree with much of what you say. An important issue is the idea that intent is not a static state. Intent changes and fluctuates greatly. The issue of an individual *truly* intent on suicide is not a clear picture. As such, if a crisis moment can be averted, it is not a certainty that the individual will try again. So averting crisis moments becomes a worthy goal. I am a clinical psychologist who works with suicidal adolescents. Many people who think about suicide do have a preferred means that they do think about using. When those means are not available to them, sometimes that is enough to prevent an attempt. Not always, but sometimes. And your final point, all politics aside, is completely true. There is incredible variation in the actual lethality of different methods of suicidal behavior, and firearms are exponentially more lethal than the next method on the list. To the Brewster community, please be aware of the contagion effect. Suicide rates among teens following a well-publicized suicide increase dramatically in the subsequent few weeks. Let all the energy be available to support the parents, family, and friends of this young man. Through active listening for signs of others' distress, may this tragedy be (more than) enough alone. AND TEACH YOUR CHILDREN: all emotions are temporary. No matter how distressed you are today, emotions will pass (and problems can be solved). You do not need a permanent solution to the temporary wave of emotions.
Michele Trinchillo January 16, 2013 at 01:33 PM
teach your children not to bully, and that it is not un cool to tell if you are being bullied. having had these feelings, and being bullied myself, it is a sensetive situation, and my heart goes out to all involved. I wish healing and love for the family and driends of this sweet young boy.
Irene Coschigano January 16, 2013 at 06:18 PM
This tragedy has nothing to do with Bullying! I have known this caring, sweet, kind, intelligent young man since he was 5 years old. My daughter has been CLOSE friends with him since Kindergarten. For the love of Heaven, please STOP talking about things you know nothing about! This boy was NEVER Bullied by anyone! He was one of the most admired children at HH Wells Middle School and it is extremely discerning to his friends and classmates that people who did not know him are making such preposterous claims. Bullying is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly, but not every situation is about bullying! So, if you don’t know FIRST HAND, please keep your stupidity to yourself!
Michael Counihan January 16, 2013 at 06:37 PM
If this was a suicide, I think it is important that we find out WHY.
KC January 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Thank you.
MommaBear January 17, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I don't think its any of the general publics business as to why this child took his own life. If it were my child I wouldn't want to share that information with anyone. We are the general public are not entitled to all the information we want. Some things are private and need to remain that way. I don't know if it was bullying, good God I hope not. But if it was I do hope the powers that be will start taking it more seriously. If it wasn't bullying I hope his family finds peace. I knew this young man when he and my own child were little and they attended a program together. From what I remember he had a loving family!. RIP Michael
Jennifer S. January 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM
My condolences to the family & friends of this young boy. And it should not be made public, whether this child committed suicide & the reason Why he did, if that is the case. That's what's wrong with society today, this is a private family matter and it should not be sensonalized!
Agatha Ginther January 18, 2013 at 06:44 AM
My deepest sympathies to the Graham family on the loss of their precious son Michael. How very sad that I learned that Michael and his father were customers of mine. What a beautiful family and loving father to his son. I'm am so distraught to know that this child is gone. Customers all day were talking about how special Michael was to all his friends and family and a great mentor to so many of his peers. May Michael hold a special place in heaven with the angels. We will miss him so much.....
Lavender January 18, 2013 at 05:26 PM
I totally agree with you, MommaBear that it's not the general public's business as to why this happened. It's a private family matter and should stay that way unless the family decides they want to share that information. Having said that, I think the reason people want to know why it happened is that it is rather shocking that someone so young killed himself (whether intentionally or accidentally) and if there was something that could have been done to prevent it we "should" know so that we can solve the problems and hopefully prevent other kids from suffering the same fate.
Susan February 06, 2013 at 07:42 PM
So if everyone speaking about bullying is stupid then what WAS the problem?


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