Tornillo boy accidentally shot by brother; man charged with criminal negligent homicide
TORNILLO, Texas (KFOX14) —
An 11-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his brother at their Tornillo home, according to court documents.
Adrian Garcia, 36, has been charged with criminal negligent homicide in the shooting death of the 10-year-old boy.
The shooting happened on Sept. 28 around 4:30 p.m. on the 19000 block of Highland Street.
According to court records, when El Paso County deputies arrived at the home, they were told the child had been shot in the head by his 11-year-old brother.
A deputy entered the home to find the child in the entranceway of the master bedroom and a black rifle sitting on top of the bed.
The boy was rushed to University Medical Center, where he died.
When questioned by deputies, Garcia said he had been living at the home with the boys' mother for about three years. Garcia is not the boys' father. He said the day of the shooting, he took the semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle away from someone at the home who was drunk.
According to court documents, Garcia said he removed the ammunition magazine from the weapon and left it in the bedroom.
Garcia said that’s when the victim’s 11-year-old brother walked in. Garcia told investigators that after removing the magazine, he racked the rifle, saw a bullet come out and racked the rifle again several times. Garcia said that he is familiar with weapons because he’s gone hunting, court documents state. He then gave the rifle to the 11-year-old boy.
When the 11-year-old grabbed the rifle, he pulled the trigger and shot his brother, who was walking into the room.
The 11-year-old was also questioned by investigators. He said he had asked Garcia if the weapon was loaded. The boy said he saw Garcia take the bullets out of the rifle and when Garcia said the rifle wasn’t loaded, he pulled the trigger because he wanted to hear how it sounded, according to the court documents.
The boy told detectives the shooting was an accident.
Court documents show that Garcia told investigators that he made a mistake by not visually checking the rifle’s chamber to make sure that it was clear before giving the rifle to the 11-year-old boy.
The boys’ mother told investigators her children are not familiar with firearms and said she did not want to press charges for her son’s death.
The victim’s father spoke to investigators and said there shouldn’t have been weapons at the home where his son lives and that this tragedy could have been prevented.
The father believes Garcia is responsible for his son’s death and will file criminal charges, the court documents state.
Garcia was charged after investigators determined he mishandled the weapon. He was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $200,000 bond.
The case remains under investigation.