Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will not pursue criminal charges against a 13-year-old boy who fatally shot his friend while handling a shotgun in February.
The death of Eddie Homes, also 13, was a tragic accident, not a crime, Lindquist said in a news release issued Friday.
“This was a heartbreaking tragedy that illustrates the importance of handling guns responsibly,” Lindquist said.
Eddie died Feb. 6 after he and several other boys gathered at a friend’s home after school. The boy who lives in the house retrieved his stepfather’s shotgun from its hiding place to show the crowd. Another 13-year-old boy asked to see the gun and was holding it when it discharged, hitting Holmes in the chest.
Puyallup police investigated the shooting and forwarded the case to Lindquist’s office for a charging decision.
In order to charge the shooter with a crime, deputy prosecutors would have been required to prove that the boy acted with criminal recklessness or criminal negligence, but the evidence did not support that, the news release stated.
Eddie’s family said in the wake of his death that they did not blame the boy who fired the fatal shot but the gun’s owner. They asked that he be held accountable.
Lindquist said Friday he evaluated the evidence and decided criminal charges against the gun’s owner were not appropriate either.