A 14-year-old Baker City boy found dead at the skate park near Sam-O Swim Center Wednesday died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said this morning.
The Baker County Major Crime Team investigated the death of Izah Nicholas Gonzalez. He was found dead about 4:30 p.m. at the skate park in east Baker City. The investigation was delayed because a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun had been removed from the scene where Izah was found, Shirtcliff said.
Oren Shaile Moore, 20, of 240 Foothill Drive, has been charged with two counts of first-degree theft. Moore is accused of taking the gun from the skate park and selling it.
Shirtcliff said Moore discovered Izah’s body and took the gun before reporting the boy’s death to people who live near the skate park.
“The District Attorney’s Office takes removal of any item from a death scene very seriously as that effects investigations and in this case delayed getting answers to a grieving family,” Shirtcliff stated in a press release. “This is a horrible tragedy and the law enforcement community of Baker County extends its condolences to Izah’s family at this time.”
The investigation into the gun sale is contin uing and other charges are pending, Shirtcliff said.
Izah had recently enrolled at Baker High School, a press release issued by the Baker School District Thursday stated. He had been reported a s a runaway at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Shirtcliff said.
The Baker School District also sent out information Thursday about Izah’s death and the District response via the new ParentSquare multimedia communication system put in place this year. It replaces the former Blackboard communication system.
Izah’s brother is enrolled at Baker Middle School.
“Principal (Skye) Flanagan is aware of this connection and is following response protocol,” the release stated.
A safe room was set up at Baker High School and counselors were on hand at BHS and at the middle school to meet with students throughout the day. Counselors also were available at all district schools to provide service as needed.
“We would ask you to use care in communication with your child regarding his incident,” the press release stated. “In addition, we encourage parents to be sensitive to any disturbances or concerns your child(ren) might express, or any non-verbal signals that your child may be struggling with information surrounding this event.
“Please contact the school if you would like to request extra support for your child during this time.”