Deputies: 15-year-old 'playing' with shotgun accidentally killed - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: 15-year-old 'playing' with shotgun accidentally killed Spartanburg Co. teen

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Quess Rivera (Source: Family) Quess Rivera (Source: Family)
Quess Rivera (Source: Family) Quess Rivera (Source: Family)
Scene of accidental shooting in Inman (Source: iWitness) Scene of accidental shooting in Inman (Source: iWitness)
INMAN, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Deputies said a 15-year-old has been charged in the shooting death of another teen in December.

Officials with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened on Dec. 21 on Stevens Court in Inman. The Spartanburg County coroner said detectives were initially told the shooting was self-inflicted which was later determined to be false.

The coroner later said 16-year-old Quess Kyrone Rivera of Bent Tree Road in Inman was pronounced dead at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. 

On Friday, deputies said the investigation was closed by their violent crime investigators after the arrest of a 15-year-old, whose name has not been released due to his age. According to deputies, juveniles had gathered at the scene to smoke marijuana.

Several teens were playing around with a shotgun, according to investigators, and a shell was ejected from the weapon. Deputies said the suspect then believed the shotgun was unloaded and pointed it at Rivera, pulling the trigger.

The witness told FOX that the boys played with guns and said he'd previously warned them about the hazards of playing with firearms.

The coroner said Rivera suffered a close-range shotgun blast to the chest. His death was ruled a homicide.

"Tragically, the weapon was still loaded, and the round struck the victim, which ultimately caused his death," deputies said.

The teen suspect turned himself in accompanied by his parents on Friday and was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

Spartanburg County School District 2 confirmed Rivera was a 10th grade student at Boiling Springs High School. 

"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Spartanburg School District Two Family are with the young man's family during this extremely difficult time," said school district Adrian Acosta in an e-mailed statement. "The administration at BSHS as well as our district social worker will be in contact with the family to offer their support."

Acosta also released a statement from BSHS Principal Chuck Gordon: 

"Quess Kyron Rivera was a student who was loved and respected by our entire school family.  We are saddened to hear of his passing and offer our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his mother and extended family members." 

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