RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - A teenager was shot and killed in Rankin County shortly after midnight Thursday.
He has been identified by family as 16-year-old Hunter Jones.
According to Undersheriff Raymond Duke with the Rankin Co. Sheriff’s Department, the shooting happened on Ridgecrest Drive in Rankin County.
Deputies received a call from the sister of the victim, stating that her brother had just been accidentally shot.
The victim returned home from work around midnight and went with a friend into an open area of the home to shoot a handgun. The friend was living at the home with the victim and his family.
According to statements received on scene, this is a semi-common occurrence. After both young men fired a couple of rounds, they returned to the home. The victim walked through a partially opened privacy gate and when the second young man attempted to open the gate fully, the weapon discharged, striking the victim in the lower back.
The victim was alert when medical personnel arrived and stabilized by Monterey Fire and Pafford EMS. He later died from his injury while being attended to at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Rankin county Undersheriff Raymond Duke said, “Right now it does not appear any criminal activity whatsoever so no wrong doing criminally but yet a young man is gone now.”
The name of the second young male will not be released.
Authorities say they do believe the shooting was accidental and no foul play is suspected.
Police added that although the investigation is ongoing, it appears to be a case of improper weapon safety.