An Alabama town is uniting in support of the family of a 9-year-old boy who accidentally hanged himself on Friday.
The child, who was discovered by his mother hanging from the top bunk of his bed late Friday afternoon, had been trying to earn a Boy Scout badge in knot tying, Alabama's 13 News reported. He was rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital by paramedics, but did not survive the injuries.
Law enforcement officials have not released the boy's name, but family members spoke to local Fox affiliate WBRC on Sunday, identifying him as A.J. Underwood.
"We had been learning how to tie ... knots in ropes in Boy Scouts. He came into the house and had unpacked his Boy Scout bag, and he went in his room and was apparently playing with the rope and slipped and got caught in it," Dana Wiesman, A.J.'s aunt, told WBRC.
The incident has rattled the small town.
"The thought of losing a child that way, it’s just unreal," Jennifer Gladden, a resident in A.J.'s hometown of Oneonta, said.
But the Alabama community has rallied around the late Boy Scout's family, supporting a GoFundMe page, "Prayers for AJ Underwood," to help with funeral expenses. More than $12,000 had been raised by more than 240 donors as of Monday afternoon.
"The outpouring of support from our small town and the surrounding communities has been absolutely amazing," Joey Prusha, the fundraiser's creator, wrote on the page. "You are all appreciated more than you will ever know."
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Underwood as a 10-year-old. Underwood was 9 years old.