A 13-year-old Puyallup boy who accidentally shot and killed a friend was released Tuesday while Pierce County prosecutors continued to weigh whether charges should be filed in the case.
“I don’t have any reason or evidence to think the kid is a danger to the community,” deputy prosecutor Kevin Benton said. “We need to take the time to make the best decision possible.”
It could be weeks before prosecutors finish reviewing reports and interviews to decide whether the boy, or the parents who own the gun, will face criminal charges in the death of Eddie Holmes. The alleged shooter has been held at Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center since the shooting Thursday in Puyallup.
Holmes was killed while hanging out after school with four other boys at a friend’s home in the 500 block of 11th Street Southeast.
The boy who lives there retrieved his stepfather’s new shotgun from its hiding place behind a headboard to show to his friends. Another boy asked to see the gun and pulled the slide back, which loaded a shell from the magazine, according to court documents. Just as the teen asked if that was how the gun worked, the weapon fired, fatally wounding Holmes in the chest.
Holmes’ family spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday, remembering the young man with a big smile who loved skateboarding, wrestling with his big brother and playing zombie video games.
Dressed in black and sitting in the Puyallup Police Department behind a framed photograph of Holmes, the boy’s mother, brother and two cousins said they still are trying to understand why Holmes was taken from them.
They said they do not blame the teen who fired the gun but want the gun owners held accountable.
“We do not blame the children; they’re naturally curious,” said Sandra Robinson, Holmes’ cousin. “We would like the parents to be held responsible.”
Holmes’ family declined to say what they would like to happen to the boy who shot Holmes, saying that is up to the law.
“Those were Eddie’s friends,” his mother, Sandra Aponte-Holmes, said in a soft voice as sobs wracked her body. “My heart does go out to them. But Eddie’s not here.”
The public is invited to Eddie Holmes’ funeral, which will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at New Tacoma Cemeteries and Funeral Home, 9212 Chambers Creek Rd. W., University Place.