Child ‘accidentally’ shot, killed in St. Pete was once reported missing, police say

Police are investigating after they say a 9-year-old boy was killed in what appears to be an accidental shooting. 

Police say Julian Ali died from a gunshot wound Friday evening. 

"This is a horrific situation. Just any time a child has a firearm, we want to make sure everybody keeps their firearm secure," St. Petersburg Police Lt. Ricardo Lopez said.

Officers were first called to an apartment at the Reserve at Lynn Lake Pointe on Lynn Lake Circle around 5 p.m. on Friday for a report of a child with a gunshot wound after they say the boy's adult sibling called 911. 

According to officers, the adult and five juveniles were home at the time the boy was shot. Police have determined the gun's owner, but aren't identifying them at this time.

Julian Ali with backpack.

Courtesy: St. Petersburg Police Department

"They're still going to continue with the investigation on that part to see if there are any charges that could be forthcoming. Most of the juveniles have been taken to the station where they're speaking with detectives to kind of see what happened and put the whole thing together," Lopez said.

Police confirmed to FOX 13 Julian had been reported missing on January 24 after he was last seen leaving his elementary school.

The St. Petersburg Police Department posted two photos to their Facebook page with message asking for help. The next day, the agency posted an update saying he had located and safe, but no other details were provided.

Meanwhile, police are still investigating the shooting and say it's too early to tell who pulled the trigger or how the gun went off.

"We're still going to investigate how the child was able to obtain this firearm. You know why they probably brought it to this apartment where it came from? How it was stored? We're going to be looking into all that," Lopez stated.