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PROVO -- A 16-year-old Provo girl was shot and killed in the basement of a friend's home Friday night. Police say one of her friends was playing with a gun he thought was not loaded.
Through friends and family postings online we learned that the victim was a sophomore at Timpview High School.
Classmate Stuart McGraw said, "She was a really happy person. She came to school with a good attitude. She was fun to be around. She kind of lit up the room."
A group of teenagers was playing in the basement of the house Friday night when one of them pulled out a gun which he later told police he thought was not loaded. He pointed it at the 16-year-old girl and pulled the trigger around 9:15. She died en route to the hospital.
Sgt. Matt Siufanua of the Provo Police Department said, "You have a kid who has a lot of energy and very little wisdom and those two things can combine to cause a lot of problems if given the chance. And that night, that's what happened."
Police are investigating to see if the case warrants charges against the teenager who fired the gun or the gun's owner. Investigators are not saying who the gun was registered to, if it was already in the home or brought to the house by someone else. They also are not releasing the names of the shooter or the victim because of their ages and the continuing investigation.
Police say this tragic case contains an important lesson for everyone about gun safety.
Siufanua said, "No matter what, if you have a handgun and you're holding it, it's never pointed at anybody, you always keep your finger off of that trigger, and you always treat that weapon as if there's a bullet inside of it and it could cause damage."
Some students say text messages are circulating throughout the student body with the news of the shooting, as well as a request to dress up Monday in memory of their classmate.