California 6th grader shoots himself dead during Zoom class, experts say kids have been 'hardest-hit' by Covid-19
Adan Llanos' sister reportedly heard the gun go off in her brother's room and went to check on him but she found him wounded in a pool of blood
An 11-year-old boy, who was reportedly suicidal, fatally shot himself in California during a virtual school lesson being in Zoom on Wednesday, December 2. The boy, identified as Adan Llanos, killed himself at his home in Woodbridge during his morning online class.
The child's sister reportedly heard the gun go off in Adan's room and went to check on him where she found him wounded in a pool of blood. She reportedly told her own teacher about what had happened and then rushed to find a neighbor who dialed 911 for emergency services. The child was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries with his parents by his side.
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement, revealed that the 11-year-old had switched off his Zoom class audio and video when he shot himself. This meant that no one else in the class at Woodbridge Elementary School witnessed the tragedy. After the boy's demise, his aunt Alejandra Carillo, set up a GoFundMe page stating: "Today was a very difficult day for our family. We just lost our nephew from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His name is Adan Llanos and was only 11 years old. I know Aron and Mirna are such great parents, I can’t even imagine what they are going through."
It is not yet clear what promoted Adan to take his own life, but the support director at his school, Paul Warren, said that he had witnessed an increase in the number of anxious and depressed students at the institution. Warren said that many of the students had struggled as the novel coronavirus pandemic disputed their routines, which left them unable to socialize with their friends.
A spokesperson for the family of Adan Llanos, later in a statement on Thursday, December 3, negated that the 11-year-old child was suicidal and said that his death was an accident. The spokesperson also added that the family currently is not ready to provide any comment to the media about Adan's demise.
Lodi School District, which includes Woodbridge Elementary School, has reportedly planned to offer its students virtual therapy in an effort to assist them to come to terms with their classmate's death. According to health experts, the social distancing measures resulting from the current pandemic have triggered an explosion of mental health issues resulting from loneliness, uncertainty, and anxiety, and "children appear to have been the hardest-hit by it".
Child psychologist Tara Niendam, from the University of California Davis, in a statement to ABC10, said many students who generally thrive on social contact of school can find virtual learning difficult. "All they need is one meaningful adult to talk to. That needs to maybe be a teacher or a coach, and (children) don’t have that person now," she said, adding that parents should carefully lookout for any changes in their children's sleep pattern, their appetite, their moon and attention span, which could throw some light on their mental struggle.
For 24/7 confidential emotional support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 in the US