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Silas Walker, KSL

Police: Kearns teen killed in accidental shooting

By Carter Williams, | Updated - Mar. 18, 2019 at 4:59 p.m. | Posted - Mar. 18, 2019 at 11:25 a.m.

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KEARNS — A 16-year-old boy was killed when the shotgun he and his 17-year-old brother were playing with went off Monday morning, police said.

Emergency crews responded to a report of the shooting at 5007 W. 5400 South about 8:15 a.m., according to Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.

She said it appears two brothers were playing with a shotgun when it went off and the 16-year-old boy was struck. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He and his brother were playing around with this shotgun and taking pictures. Unfortunately, that gun was loaded and the gun did go off," Gray said.

The teen's name was not immediately released.

The shooting remains under investigation. Police weren't immediately sure who owned the gun. The 17-year-old brother was cooperating with police, Gray added.

The teen's step-mother, Jessie, who didn't provide her last name, told media gathered at the scene that the shooting was a "freak accident" and wasn't sure where the gun came from.

"Our son was an amazing boxer. He was an amazing kid. He had a lot of great things he was doing," she said. "What happened here today has us completely shocked. We have a gun-free home."

Gray said the brother told police he was "shocked" when the gun went off. A cousin of the teen also told KSL TV that the brothers didn't know the gun was loaded at the time of the shooting.

Gray said the shooting was a sobering reminder that "guns are not toys." She urged anyone to treat a gun as if it was loaded and not to point it at anyone.

Monday's shooting was the second fatal accidental shooting in Salt Lake County this year. On Feb. 5, 15-year-old Marquez Grajeda was shot and killed at a home in West Valley City.

Police said a 14-year-old boy had unintentionally shot Grajeda during lunch break from school that day. The teen was later charged with manslaughter in that case.

Contributing: Dan Rascon, KSL

Carter Williams

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