Macon County Chronicle

Tragic Handgun Accident Claims Life of Child

The Dearaujo family (l-r): Omkara, Rhonda, Pema, Tulasi, Lila, and Bhajan. (Photo submitted)The tragic misfire of an illegally altered .25 caliper handgun ended the life of eight-year-old Pema Ozer Shakti Dearaujo on the evening of Monday, May 5, 2008. Pema, a native of Macon County, was currently a resident of Trace Creek Road in Clay County, and a kindergarten student in Miss Amanda’s class at Hermitage Springs.

Born February 11, 2000, Pema was the son of Rhonda Dearaujo and the brother of Omkara (7), Tulasi (14), Bhajan (20), and Lila (21) Dearaujo, and Heather Mucha (30) of Detroit, Michigan.

The fatal accident occurred at the Dearaujo home at approximately 9:30 p.m.. Ms. Dearaujo, a single mother, was attempting to unload the recently purchased handgun when it suddenly went off, the bullet striking Pema in the head.
Pema Dearaujo was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Macon County General Hospital.

A thorough investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Human Services, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was completed quickly. No foul play was suspected, no charges were made, and the contents of the house were soon turned back over to the grieving family.

The Clay County Sheriff Department was not releasing any information about the incident at press time.
In addition to his mother and siblings, Pema is survived by many close friends of all ages; and two special dog companions, Jasmine and Petie.

A fund for the Dearaujo family has been established at Citizen’s Bank, in Lafayette.
There will be a private service at a future date.