The boys and other children in their east Houston apartment complex were hiding and playing “Nerf gun wars” on Friday, police told KTRK-TV. Fernando Hernandez Jnr climbed inside a dryer in the complex’s laundry room.
“I don’t know what happened,” said his mother, Christina Rodriguez told the television station. “I was just inside cooking and my little son came inside and told me my son was dead on the floor.”
Rodriguez said Fernando had been playing with his nine-year-old brother.
“My boyfriend picked him up and brought him into the house,” Rodriguez said. “He was purple and his eyes were open and he was gone.”
Paramedics performed CPR on Fernando, a third-grader at Harris Elementary School, before he was rushed to a hospital where he later died.
The Harris County medical examiner has not yet determined a cause of death.
“At this time, it appears it could be an accident,” Houston police Detective Michael Arrington told the Houston Chronicle. “The juveniles were playing hide and seek, and the juveniles were the ones who found him unresponsive.”