Boy, 13, dies after being shot in head on Washington state base

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 5:02 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A 13-year-old boy has died after being shot in the head while he, his brother and a friend played with a loaded handgun on a U.S. military base in Washington state last week, police said on Monday.

The boy was shot by the 17-year-old friend on Tuesday after the trio climbed through a hole in a fence onto Joint Base Lewis-McChord, about an hour's drive south of Seattle, said Lakewood Police Department spokesman John Unfred.

"We think the 17-year-old cocked the hammer on the revolver and was trying to hand it to one of the boys, and we believe it accidentally went off," Unfred said.

After the shooting, the 13-year-old was taken to a Tacoma children's hospital where he died from his wounds on Sunday, Unfred said.

The 17-year-old, Adonis Brown, of Lakewood, ran from the scene and police tracked him down hours later to a girlfriend's apartment, Unfred said. It was unclear how Brown obtained the handgun.

Brown, who has been previously convicted as a juvenile of felony assault, is being held on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and third-degree assault, said Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office spokeswoman Heather Songer.

Brown pleaded not guilty to those charges on Friday. Songer said that since the 13-year-old has died, the prosecuting attorney is weighing whether to file new charges.

Unfred said new charges could include manslaughter.

An attorney for Brown could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)