17-year-old dead after playing with a gun

By Jason Nguyen

Published 06/05 2014 04:16AM

Updated 06/05 2014 07:04AM

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH) - Police say a celebration of the end of a school year ended tragically for one 17-year-old after being shot in the head.

Cottonwood Heights police are investigating the death. The department says there were 5 teens in the basement of the home. Two females were on the couch in the basement, while three boys played with a gun in the closet of the basement. In the closet were two 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old.

Police say they had a stolen gun and believed it was unloaded but there was one bullet still in the chamber. One of the 16-year-olds shot the 17-year-old in the head and he died from his injuries.

"They were showing each other the gun. We believe that they felt the gun was unloaded. Pulled the trigger a few times -- it was a revolver -- cycled through what was probably some empty cylinders until it came onto the live round," said Lt. Mark Askerlund with Cottonwood Heights police.
Police have charged that teen with negligent homicide. They have also charged the other 16-year-old with possession of a stolen gun.
Cottonwood Heights police believe the gun was stolen from a rash of burglaries in the area. They tell us the burglaries happened over several weeks. Most of them have had guns taken from the homes.

Parents were in the home at the time of the shooting but were upstairs.
Police have executed a search warrant on the home. It is unclear if alcohol or drugs were used during the gathering.
The teens were all students of Brighton High School.

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