A 13-year-old from the US state of Utah has died from gunshot wounds from his 15-year-old friend, police announced.

The teens hid from their homes and met in a parking lot of a church on the outskirts of Salt Lake City in West Jordan, said Police Lt. Richard Bell.

One of the boys brought a gun and opened fire accidentally, killing the youngest teenager. The teenager did not know the gun was loaded.

“We do not believe he intended to kill his friend. “The 15-year-old called 911 after the shooting, terrified and wanting to help his friend,” Bell said.

The 15-year-old was detained at the juvenile detention center on suspicion of murder, but the investigation so far has shown that the shooting was a “tragic accident”. The names of the teenagers have not been disclosed.

Police did not say where the teens got their guns from, but warned gun owners to lock them in their homes and talk to children about their safe use.