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Community, Family Mourning Princeton Boy Killed In Shooting

PRINCETON, Minn. (WCCO) -- A family is coming to terms with the loss of a 14-year-old who was shot and killed inside his home.

It happened Monday afternoon in Princeton. Family members say Eric Nelson was shot and killed. Police say another 14-year-old boy was in the house as well.

Tuesday night, the community is holding a vigil for Eric at a local church.

Eric Nelson
(credit: Em Nelson/GoFundMe)

Police say they're still investigating what happened inside the home, while the community and family are trying to get through the shock. Eric's aunt talked with WCCO on Tuesday and called this a terrible tragedy she's hoping others can learn from.

"It's hard to talk about him in the past tense," Emma Nelson said.

On behalf of her family, Emma Nelson gathers her strength.

"He loved music and Legos. Video games," Emma said. "He was such a good kid. He was so kind-hearted and he just had a positive attitude all the time," Emma said.

The eighth grader was home Monday with another boy when according to police, Eric was shot and killed.

Emma Nelson got the call from her brother letting her know his son Eric was gone.

"It was just so tragic. You're in shock, I'm still in shock. I haven't fully processed it yet," Emma said.

She says her family can't say for certain what happened inside the house. But she knows Eric was well trained in gun safety. She wants other parents and schools to push for gun safety training for all children.

"Even if parents don't have guns, you go to a friend's house and their parents do or their grandparents do. We are a family that has guns so all of our young children know," Emma said.

Deep inside of a tragedy, the Nelson's are looking outward, hoping their grief and Eric's life can save another.

"We are trying our hardest to stay strong and we are going to remember him for his laugh," Emma said.

Emma says Eric has two younger sisters and an older brother. It's unclear if his family will be at Tuesday night's vigil, but several people from the school and community will be.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

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