Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Friday, March 8, 2013

16-year old Michigan boy clinging to life after friend "horseplays" with gun

Brandon Kuiper, age 16
A 16-year old boy, Brandon Kuiper, was with five other teens in the basement of a home in Tallmadge Township, Michigan, when one of the boys, 18 year old Richard Usher, pulled out a .22-caliber handgun, which was registered to Usher's grandfather.  They were in Usher's home.

The boys had been drinking and smoking marijuana.

Brandon was shot in the face at close range. He is now in critical condition.  Usher faces manslaughter charges.

This apparently wasn't the first time the gun was used in "horseplay."

From an article:
According to court records, a detective told a judge that Kuiper was shot when he and 18-year-old suspect Richard Usher, Jr. were playing Russian Roulette with a .22 caliber handgun.  
"There wasn't any disagreement any argument any fight prior to this event," said Bennett. "The gun was pointed at the victim and the trigger was pulled. We don't believe at this particular point the probable cause exists to substantiate any premeditation in that act, but clearly the gun was pointed and the trigger was pulled."  
Bennett said the lack of intent is why the sheriff's department believes attempted manslaughter is the appropriate charge.     
He went on to say that the suspect's mother and grandfather were in the home at the time of the incident, on an upper floor.    
Four other teens between the ages of 17 and 19 were also in the home at the time of the shooting but not injured. Witnesses and Bennett said alcohol and marijuana were being used at the time.  
"Unfortunately there was some drug use there was some alcohol use that we're looking into the origin of those things," said Bennett.  "But that's of concern to us. That, mixed with the horseplay of the firearm, is part of the equation here that caused this tragic result."  
Kuiper was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids with life-threatening injuries.  
Usher was arrested Wednesday night, and was taken to the Ottawa County Jail. He was arraigned Thursday afternoon on one count of attempted manslaughter, a 5-year felony, and a charge of felony firearm, a 2-year felony. 
According to a related news video, the kids apparently shot guns on the property often.

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