Homicide and Internal Affairs detectives yesterday were investigating the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy during a struggle with his police-officer mother for her handgun inside their West Philadelphia home.

Police said the fatal tussle for the gun Tuesday night grew out of an argument over disciplining the youth.

No charges have been filed; police said the shooting appeared to be accidental.

Capt. Benjamin Naish, a department spokesman, said the officer, a 17-year veteran who is assigned to Southwest Philadelphia's 12th Police District, was "understandably distraught."

He would not identify her.

Police said the shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday inside their home on the 5700 block of West Girard Avenue in the Carroll Park neighborhood. They said that the officer had been having unspecified trouble with her son, and that an argument turned into a struggle during which the two wrestled for her Glock pistol.

One shot went off, hitting Joshua Wright in the head, police said. He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was pronounced dead at 10 p.m., police said.

Naish said other family members were in the house when the fight broke out.

Yesterday, an officer in a patrol car was posted outside the rowhouse.

Neighbors interviewed on the block and at a nearby store said they were not familiar with the family except by sight. Some said they did not know that there had been a fatal shooting inside the house.

Contact staff writer Joseph Gambardello at 215-854-2153 or jgambardello@phillynews.com.