The 12-year-old Boy Scout who fatally shot himself at a camp on Fiesta Island was being treated for psychological problems and had Asperger syndrome, the medical examiner's office said Tuesday, as it ruled his death a suicide.
William Shook was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the head the morning of June 30, according to the ME. There had been confusion in media reports about where the boy was shot.
William had arrived in San Diego along with his scout leader father and about 20 other Boy Scouts from Las Vegas the day before his death. He was attending summer camp at the Fiesta Island Youth Camp and Youth Aquatic Center in Mission Bay.
The boy was inside his tent getting ready for a flag-raising ceremony, and there was one other scout inside the tent, the ME said. The other boy had his back turned when he heard a “pop” and looked to see William fall to the ground.
The boy’s father told police that he heard commotion and ran to his son’s tent. He discovered his son lying on a ground inside the tent with a handgun nearby. The father said he grabbed the gun and took it to his tent to secure it.
The gun – a Glock 27 .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol – reported belonged to the boy’s grandfather in Las Vegas, according to the ME.
Other campers told authorities that they never saw a gun and that William never mentioned he had one, the report said.
Although police did investigate the possibility of someone else pulling the trigger, the autopsy found his injuries were consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No suicide note was found.
The report revealed that the boy had Asperger syndrome and was on medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorder and migraines. He was treated for depression and suicidal ideations in 2011, the ME said.
The Boy Scouts of America runs a summer camp on the patch of land in the middle of Mission Bay from June to August, offering merit badge opportunities in everything from kayaking to SCUBA to fire safety. The location focuses on aquatics activities and does not include a shooting range.
San Diego County provides free and confidential support for those in crisis or need immediate help. Phones at the Crisis Hotline at (888) 724-7240 are answered by trained professionals available 24/7. The call is free and confidential.