Dying Too Young: Patrick "Pat" Bowen

Oklahoman Modified: March 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm •  Published: March 25, 2009
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Name: Patrick “Pat” Bowen

Age: 14

Place of residence: Enid

Died: June 29, 2006

What happened: Pat Bowen went to the town of Cement to help his mother clean out the home of his grandmother, who had recently died. He went over to visit a 10-year-old friend, who wanted to show him one of his grandfather's guns. The boy “tried to pull the hammer back. He didn't realize it was loaded. It slipped and discharged,” said Geoff Bowen, Pat Bowen's father.

The state medical examiner's report said Pat Bowen died from a gunshot to the head.

Other: The week he died, Pat Bowen was supposed to be attending football camp. Instead, he decided to help his mother with his grandmother's house. “That was the kind of kid he was. He was always worried about other people,” Geoff Bowen said.

The family commuted from Enid to attend church at Northeast Baptist Church in Norman. Pat enjoyed church camp, football and wrestling, his father said.

His ambition was to go into the U.S. Army, “before college, before sports, before anything,” Geoff Bowen said. His son's dream was to be a member of the military police, then to become a police officer.

Pat Bowen's death has been tough for his five other siblings to understand; one brother fears he will forget his brother, Geoff Bowen said.

After Pat Bowen died, his father agreed to be interviewed as part of a gun safety film produced by Gene Christian, director of the state Office of Juvenile Affairs. Geoff Bowen said he hopes the film will help prevent similar tragedies.

“We were always taught, you always treat a gun as it's loaded,” Geoff Bowen said. “A lot of people don't get that education.”

Geoff Bowen said he doesn't hold anything against the 10-year-old who was showing his son the gun. Instead, he hopes the boy is getting the psychiatric help he may need as a result of the accident.


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