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Silas Walker, KSL

Police arrest stepbrother of teen killed in 'accidental' Kearns shooting, obtain search warrant for home

By Liesl Nielsen, KSL.com | Updated - Mar 21st, 2019 @ 9:41pm | Posted - Mar 21st, 2019 @ 12:10pm



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KEARNS — Police arrested the 15-year-old stepbrother of a teenager who was killed when a shotgun went off while the two boys were playing with the firearm Monday, officials said.

Emergency crews received a report of the shooting Monday morning and responded to a home at 5007 W. 5400 South in Kearns, according to Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.

Gray told reporters Monday that it appears the brothers were playing and taking pictures with the loaded firearm when the gun fired and the 16-year-old boy was struck. The teen was pronounced dead on scene.

The teen's stepmother told media at the scene that day that the shooting was a "freak accident" and that she wasn't sure where the gun came from.

But on Thursday, Unified Police detective Kevin Mallory was unable to say that the shooting was an accident when asked about the situation.

"All I can say at this point is that yesterday a juvenile male was taken into custody and booked into detention in relationship to the shooting that occurred on Monday," Mallory said.

Gray said the brother also told police Monday that 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.

The mother of the 16-year-old, however, told KSL TV's Dan Rascon Thursday that the incident was "no accident. He, (the 15-year-old), killed my son."

The shooting is still under investigation, and police weren't immediately sure who owned the gun or how the gun went off. Officials have not released any further information on those details since Monday.

A search warrant was being executed at the home Thursday evening, Unified police confirmed. Further information was not immediately given.

Gray told KSL.com on Tuesday that it was unlikely any charges would be filed in the case, and that officers may never know how the gun was procured. It is unclear whether that is still true, but police have not released any further information as of Thursday night.

Gray said police will not release the names of either of the brothers.

Contributing: Dan Rascon, KSL TV; Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com


Editor's note: Police originally said the stepbrother was 17 years old. This article has been edited to state the correct age of 15 years old.

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