Teen charged with shooting girlfriend inside car in Parkland

A 15-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty to charges that he shot his girlfriend in Parkland last Thursday after the pair had reportedly been playing with a gun.

The 18-year-old girlfriend was wounded as she was driving in the 400 block of 111th Court Southeast. She is expected to survive, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer said. Investigators believe the boy, who was riding in the back seat, discharged the gun accidentally, Troyer said.

The boyfriend was charged as a juvenile with third-degree assault, unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty Friday.

The News Tribune does not generally name minors unless they are charged as adults.

According to charging papers, a witness told investigators the boy got out of the car and started running after the shot was fired. Deputies found a short-barreled shotgun discarded nearby. Another person said he’d heard the boyfriend and girlfriend had been playing with a shotgun that day, court records state.