Friend of teen who shot self on Facetime: 'He thought it was completely empty'

Teen accidentally shoots self on Facetime

UNION TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A community is grieving after police say a 14-year-old accidentally shot and killed himself while handling a gun. The tragedy unfolded as he was on a Facetime chat with his friend.

Wednesday evening, several flowers were left outside of his home on the 4200 block of Beechmont Dr. Medics found the 14-year-old boy inside the house around 11 a.m. after getting an alarming call from a neighbor.

"My neighbor's son just came over and said he was on Facetime with a friend and the kid shot himself in the head," said the neighbor in the 911 call.

The 14-year-old's friend then got on the phone telling the 911 operator that the shooting appeared to be an accident.

The 911 operator asked: "Did he say anything before he did it?"

The friend on the 911 call responded saying: "He didn't know there was a live round in it. He thought it was completely empty. He just pulled the trigger and shot himself."

Neighbors who watched the 14-year-old grow up still can't believe he's gone.

"A 14-year-old, 15 a teenage kid. You expect them to live forever. It's been a tough day," said Gary Stroup who lives across the street from the family of the 14-year-old.

He says all the families on the block are fairly close so it's a pain everyone is feeling.

"They all grew up together. All the kids in the neighborhood used to play in the street and do whatever other kids do. It's pretty traumatic," he said.

The friend who witnessed the shooting says the 14-year-old was home alone when he found the gun.

"Do you know who's gun it is," asked the 911 operator.

"It's his fathers," said the 911 caller.

"It's his dad's gun? Was he in the house when you seen it? Did it look like he was in the house," asked the operator.

"His dad's not home," said the caller.

Stroup says his heart also goes out to the teen who watched his friend die on Facetime.

"Can you imagine that kid, the memories he's going to have. You have a tragedy all around on that one today," said Stroup.

He says he hopes at least the teen's death won't be in vain and will remind parents to keep their firearms locked up and hidden away.

The 14-year-old was a student at West Clermont High School. The principal sent a letter went home at the end of the day to inform parents about the incident. The letter says grief counselors were at the school on Wednesday and will be back on Thursday to help students get through the difficult time.

"Dear West Clermont families:

The shooting remains under investigation.

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