Gary and Crystal Roberts of Dayton are still trying to come to terms with their son’s loss. Fifteen-year-old Christopher Roberts, an eighth-grade student at Woodrow Wilson Junior High in Dayton, died late Saturday night at a friend’s house. He and the friend reportedly were playing with long guns when one accidentally discharged, striking Christopher in the face and killing him.
“I am trying to get through this but I can’t. Every time I close my eyes, I see his face. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep,” Crystal said. “It doesn’t seem real to me at all. Until the day I have to bury my son, I guess it won’t be real. That’s when the reality of it will hit me more.”
Christopher was the Roberts’ youngest child. Adored by his parents, Gammy, Aunt Sylvia and sister, Brittany, Christopher was the kind of person who meant it when he said “I love you,” according to his mom.
“He had such a big heart,” she said.
Living with the regret of letting Christopher spend the night with his friend has put unbearable pain and guilt on his father, Gary.
“He didn’t stay away from home much. I was very protective as a parent should be,” said his dad, explaining that his overprotective nature really kicked in after he lost his oldest son to an accidental drowning in 2006.
More than regret, Gary feels anger that guns were even available at the friend’s house.
“These were old Western lever rifles. One was not loaded but the other one was. We have taught Christopher to never play with guns, to never point a gun at anyone and to always assume it is loaded,” Gary said. “I think these people took my kid away from me. Where were the parents and why weren’t the guns secured? The parents should have had basic gun protections and should not have left them where they were accessible. Now we have to bury our child. Kids are supposed to bury their parents, not the parents burying their child.”
Christopher was a kid with big dreams, said his dad. He dreamed of playing football for Oklahoma University after high school graduation.
“He was a typical 15-year-old kid. He was a little hard-headed at times but he was extremely smart and well-loved,” said Gary. “He played sports and was a trumpet player in the band. He had so much going for him.”
Christopher enjoyed working at coin show and flea market booths alongside his father and late grandfather. His grandfather died in 2020.
“He had been working with us since he was 7 years old. He loved work and he was a good salesman because he had a natural charm,” his dad said.
Funeral arrangements for Christopher are still pending. His parents said the service will be held at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton in the coming days.
“We weren’t prepared for this. They are doing an autopsy on him tomorrow,” Gary said on Monday. “We spent Sunday night at a hotel in Dayton because we just couldn’t stand to be at home. Every time we walk in the house, it is a reminder that he is not here.”
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the Roberts with Christopher’s funeral expenses. If you want to help, follow this link: