Shooting may have been accidental

Published 12:02 am Sunday, April 8, 2018

Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies said Saturday they believe the fatal shooting of an Adams County teen Friday night may have been accidental.

Though the incident is still under investigation, Chief Deputy Jerry Brown said investigators believe 16-year-old LaVell Whittley Jr. and two friends may have been in possession of a gun when it accidentally fired, killing Whittley.

Deputies responded to a report of a drive-by shooting about 9:30 p.m.

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Whittley, who had been in the garage of a friend’s house on Winola Drive with two other juveniles, was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived on scene.

Brown said the two juveniles who were with Whittley at the time of his death told deputies conflicting stories.

One of the teens told deputies he had seen a vehicle pass at the time of the shooting Friday night; the other teen said he saw no vehicle.

On Saturday, both teens said they had been in possession of a gun at the time of the shooting, but that they were no longer sure where the gun was, Brown said.

One teen told investigators Saturday he had thrown the firearm into the back yard; the other said he had run away with it.

At this time, Brown said investigators are still searching for the weapon.

“It is still very early on in the investigation,” Brown said.

Investigators are interviewing the two juveniles who were in the carport at the time of the incident, Brown said, and more information may become available as the investigation continues.