Axel Kenneth Loera, 14, was a hard-working, studious little boy. His life was cut short after he and a friend found a gun in an upstairs closet and it somehow went off. Nobody else was in the house at the time the two unsupervised children found the gun in an upstairs closet and began playing with it.
In what is a shocking twist for Austin, the gun owner has not been charged. Axel’s friend, an unnamed 16-year-old boy, will be charged instead. The normally reliably-Progressive city is failing in its duty to advance Prosecute the real criminal here:
The Gun Owner.
If the gun owner had not left his firearm out where little Axel and his friend could find it, little Axel would still be alive today. According to Texas Penal Code 46.13(b):
A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence:
(1) failed to secure the firearm; or
(2) left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.
A closet, even the top of a closet, is no place to have hidden a gun when there are children in the house. The gun owner should be, at the very least sued into oblivion. It was his fault that the gun was in the house, it was his fault that the little children found the gun, and it was his fault that little Axel died. There is no law in Heaven nor on Earth that could POSSIBLY exonerate this gun-owning piece of excrement.
Well, ok, there might be one.
Texas Penal Code 46.13(c)(3) states:
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the child's access to the firearm:
(3) was gained by entering property in violation of this code; or
BUT! This NRA-inspired exception has its own loophole: Little Alex would have had to be in violation of the Penal Code and climbing up into the closet is NOT a violation.
In this case, it was a violation. Little, hardworking, studious Axel and his friend broke into the East Austin home to commit a felony: Burglary.
During their ransacking of the house, one of them found the lawfully-owned and properly-secured handgun and pulled the trigger, resulting in the shooting death of little Axel. And while we’re not lawyers here, we’re pretty sure that Texas’ Criminal Homicide law would apply here.
We are saddened by Axel’s death. No child deserves to die during the commission of a crime. But we cannot and should not blame the gun owner for someone else’s criminal negligence.
The homeowner, summoned by police after the fact, has lost his defensive firearm to the Austin Police Evidence Locker.