"Children are adventurous, this stuff happens " Kim O'Connor says of the Saturday incident

By Rose Minutaglio
Updated June 01, 2016 03:25 PM
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Credit: Jeff McCurry/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via The Cincinatti Enquirer/ AP

An eyewitness of a 4-year-old’s fall into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday is speaking out in defense of the boy’s mother who is being investigated by police.

Kim O’Connor – who managed to capture the incident on film – calls Harambe’s death a “tragedy” but said it was just a “horrible accident.”

“I’m never going to un-see it,” O’Connor tells PEOPLE. “But to charge someone criminally? I think that might not be the right thing to do.”

“Children are adventurous, this stuff happens I don’t think negligent is the right word,” she says of the backlash alleging that the boy’s mother was negligent that day at the zoo.

Harambe was shot and killed by zoo officials after dragging the boy around the moat in his enclosure.

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O’Connor says her video, which has received over 6 million views, doesn’t show the moment Harambe pulled the boy onto the cement portion of the exhibit.

“The purpose of the video was to show he’s touching the boy. You can spin it and say he was protecting him ” she says. “But he had the boy, they didn’t see what happened on the top it was too horrific to even hold the camera steady to shoot anything that bad.”