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Oklahoma City boy's stabbing death appears accidental, police say

A 4-year-old boy died by what appears to be an accidental stabbing Saturday in west Oklahoma City, police said. No arrest has been made in the death, police said.
Modified: February 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm •  Published: February 24, 2014

The stabbing death of a 4-year-old boy Saturdy in west Oklahoma City appears to have been an accident, police said.

Bralyn Shively, 4, of Oklahoma City, was accidentally stabbed in the chest by his uncle, Chris Coates, 35, of Chariton, Iowa, police report.

“All evidence points toward this being an accidental death,” Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight wrote in a news release Monday.

Coates told police he was lying in a hammock at a home in the 13000 block of Deer Creek Drive when he started whittling a piece of wood with a knife. Bralyn was pushing on the hammock when the hammock broke and Coates fell. The knife then struck Bralyn in the chest, police report. Coates yelled for others to call 911 as he tried to save the child, Knight said.

Paramedics arrived and rushed Bralyn to a hospital, where he died.

The Canadian County district attorney’s office will make a formal ruling on the case, Knight said.

An autopsy was expected to be performed at the state medical examiner’s office where a cause and manner of death will be determined, medical examiner’s spokeswoman Amy Elliott.

Coates was not arrested.

Funeral services for Brayln are set for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Yukon. has disabled the comments for this article.


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