3-year-old shooting victim identified as Gavin Stiles
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Sheriff’s Office on Friday continued to investigate the accidental shooting of 3-year-old Gavin Stiles, son of Steamboat Springs Police Department Officer Michael Stiles and Joni Stiles.
“At this point in time, it just looks like a tragic accident,” Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said. “The child got access to the weapon and was probably playing with it.”
Wiggins said the Sheriff’s Office was checking the serial number of the handgun to determine if it was the weapon issued to Stiles by the police department.
“We believe that’s the case, but that hasn’t been verified,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins said they were still working to determine where the gun was located in the Stagecoach-area home.
“That’s one of the questions we have to find out,” Wiggins said. “At this point, we just have suspicions.”
Investigators plan to conduct follow-up interviews with the parents, who were at home with Gavin when he was shot Thursday morning.
An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday, and Wiggins said they hope to complete the investigation by early next week.
Wiggins said they were investigating the incident as they would any other death.
“We’re on a fact-finding mission,” Wiggins said.
Police Chief Cory Christensen and other law enforcement officers were in mourning Thursday when they learned about the boy’s death.
“It’s a tragedy in our family, and we’re focusing on the welfare of our employee and his family,” Christensen said.
A Gofundme page has been set up to support the Stiles family at http://www.gofundme.com/2em2ymk.
According to the page, Yampa Valley Funeral home has offered to conduct Gavin’s service at no cost and to provide some items at cost.
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The Routt County Board of Commissioners is back in the hearing room it vacated when the pandemic sent the world home in March 2020 — and the public is welcome to attend, too.