`Case closed,’ boy won’t be charged in shooting
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – No charges will be filed against the 11-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his friend Nick Jones, 12, of Battlement Mesa on March 21, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said Tuesday.
“Based on the lack of intent, the fact the kid is 11 years old, and that the Jones family wishes things could be resolved, and everybody could go on and start healing, we decided not to press charges,” Vallario said. “The case is closed.”
Vallario said in order to charge the unidentified boy with a crime, the district attorney’s office would need to determine if the shooting was, at least in part, intentional, reckless, careless or negligent.
The shooting occurred around 11 a.m. on March 21 at a residence in Battlement Mesa, an unincorporated community in Garfield County just south of Parachute.
Jones was taken to Clagett Memorial Hospital in Rifle, where he was pronounced dead at 12:14 p.m. that day.
A third boy, 12, was also present at the time of the shooting, but no adults were in the home.
The boys were playing with a .22-caliber rifle that was kept unloaded, in a gun case, in a parent’s bedroom closet.
The boys loaded the rifle with ammunition taken from a dresser drawer in the mother’s bedroom.
“All indications are that the boys were playing with the gun when it accidentally discharged, hitting Nick Jones in the torso,” Myers said Tuesday.
Colorado law does not require guns to be locked up or secured with a trigger lock, Myers noted.
“This tragic incident should remind parents to take extra precautions with firearms, particularly when children reside in the home,” Myers said.
“Firearms should always be stored unloaded and kept in locked gun cases or secured with a trigger lock. Ammunition should always be stored away from firearms in a locked cabinet or other secure place.
“It is important that parents secure firearms appropriately in their own homes, and be concerned about how firearms are stored in the homes their children visit,” Myers added.
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