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Thread: Teen fatally shot in friend's Provo home

  1. #1

    Teen fatally shot in friend's Provo home

    Teen fatally shot in friend's Provo home
    March 7th, 2009 @ 10:00pm
    By Sarah Dallof

    PROVO -- A 16-year-old Provo girl was shot and killed in the basement of a friend's home Friday night. Police say one of her friends was playing with a gun he thought was not loaded.

    Through friends and family postings online we learned that the victim was a sophomore at Timpview High School.

    Classmate Stuart McGraw said, "She was a really happy person. She came to school with a good attitude. She was fun to be around. She kind of lit up the room."

    A group of teenagers was playing in the basement of the house Friday night when one of them pulled out a gun which he later told police he thought was not loaded. He pointed it at the 16-year-old girl and pulled the trigger around 9:15. She died en route to the hospital.

    Sgt. Matt Siufanua of the Provo Police Department said, "You have a kid who has a lot of energy and very little wisdom and those two things can combine to cause a lot of problems if given the chance. And that night, that's what happened."

    Police are investigating to see if the case warrants charges against the teenager who fired the gun or the gun's owner. Investigators are not saying who the gun was registered to, if it was already in the home or brought to the house by someone else. They also are not releasing the names of the shooter or the victim because of their ages and the continuing investigation.

    Police say this tragic case contains an important lesson for everyone about gun safety.

    Siufanua said, "No matter what, if you have a handgun and you're holding it, it's never pointed at anybody, you always keep your finger off of that trigger, and you always treat that weapon as if there's a bullet inside of it and it could cause damage."

    Some students say text messages are circulating throughout the student body with the news of the shooting, as well as a request to dress up Monday in memory of their classmate.

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=5784418&autostart=y

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  3. #2
    This sucks that a good kid was killed by another good kid just being stupid. I feel so badly for that girl's family. They say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all but I would rather my child never have been born than for him to die before me. You never know what joy a child brings until you have one, but losing my son would ruin me.



    I don't think the shooter should be legally punished. His guilt and regret for the rest of his life are punishment enough as far as I am concerned. I don't think he is a threat to society and no matter what happens this situation just sucks!

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo
    I don't think the shooter should be legally punished. His guilt and regret for the rest of his life are punishment enough as far as I am concerned. I don't think he is a threat to society and no matter what happens this situation just sucks!

    You're implying that only those who commit crimes AND feel no remorse are worthy of jail time. I disagree. It is true that he will feel bad about it his entire life, but in this society there are punishments to those who point a loaded gun at another human and pull the trigger. The fact that he didn't know it was loaded shouldn't give him a free pass....maybe a lessened sentence, not definitely not off scott free.
    Quote Originally Posted by uintafly View Post
    Could probably sum it up with one question: "Do you like Slot Machine's posts?" If so, you probably like Bogley, if not you probably like CC.
    Rockgremlin likes this

  5. #4
    In the end, I am glad that it is not up to me to decide.


    I certainly am not an advocate for nobody being accountable for unintentional crimes, but I just don't see what putting this kid in jail would do for anyone.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo
    In the end, I am glad that it is not up to me to decide.


    I certainly am not an advocate for nobody being accountable for unintentional crimes, but I just don't see what putting this kid in jail would do for anyone.
    I agree. Very tough call. Nevertheless...at least community service for a year and a short sentence. You know, this kid is gonna expect the law to inflict a punishment, and it will probably help him to deal with it. I put myself in his shoes...if I accidently killed someone like that, I would expect to be punished by the law. I don't feel like I would deserve anything less.
    Quote Originally Posted by uintafly View Post
    Could probably sum it up with one question: "Do you like Slot Machine's posts?" If so, you probably like Bogley, if not you probably like CC.
    Rockgremlin likes this

  7. #6
    It's almost like someone who falls asleep at the wheel and kills someone I would think. I'd still have to say that even though it was unintentional, a crime was still committed and must be punished. I would imagine his own torment is worse than any we can inflict though.
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  8. #7
    Who seriously points a gun at somebody else and pulls the trigger, even if they think it's unloaded?

    If somebody checks to confirm that the gun is unloaded, it's still a very conscience-denying action to point it at somebody and pull the trigger.

    Even 10 year olds know this is wrong.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech
    Who seriously points a gun at somebody else and pulls the trigger, even if they think it's unloaded?

    While serving my mission in Chile I was almost witness to a baby being shot in a similar circumstance. The nicest lady in the world was borrowing a gun for a costume. She was playing with it and pointed it at a baby and the person who owned the gun asked for it and then removed the bullets (because it was loaded at the time). She told me afterward that she was about 2 seconds away from dry firing it at the baby and saying "bang". Even the best of people (I believe all people) are just stupid sometimes.

    One of the news clips I saw had a guy from the NRA saying that you can oppose guns all you want but sooner or later your children will be exposed to them and your best bet is just to educate yourselves and your children how to interact with it.


    I am not arguing that this is stupid behavior, and I think RockGremlin is right that community service could be a good alternative here to jail time, but going along with what DeathCricket said no punishment we give this kid can compare to his own guilt.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo
    One of the news clips I saw had a guy from the NRA saying that you can oppose guns all you want but sooner or later your children will be exposed to them and your best bet is just to educate yourselves and your children how to interact with it.
    Best thing you can do for your kids in regards to gun safety in Utah is to send your kids through the Hunter Safety program.

    I really wish they would rename the course to gun safety as that is what the course really is, and I think everyone can benefit from the course. Of course I also think swimming lesson should be a mandatory class to Utah students so what do I know.


  11. #10
    we teach sex ed in school. we teach drug ed in school. we teach stranger ed in school. we teach our kids to swim (drowning is the largest killer of small children, far more than guns). why don't we teach gun ed in school?
    But if I agreed with you, we would both be wrong.

  12. #11
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denaliguide
    why don't we teach gun ed in school?
    Great question. But who knows. If they teach gun safety in school, they may feel they're promoting gun ownership. After all, guns are bad.

    Teenage years and we don't know that guns kill people, that they are not toys I think not. The claim that he didn't know the gun was loaded is a failed one even if he was a "good kid." You are responsible for your own actions, you took the life of another with the "self defense" issue out of the equation. Stupidity is not an excuse for negligence. With that, he should be charged. It's not like the kid will be doing life, it appears that the investigation has ruled out everything but that accident factor. I just hope they did and this isn't a case of something else under the guise of an accident.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    You are responsible for your own actions, you took the life of another with the "self defense" issue out of the equation. Stupidity is not an excuse for negligence. With that, he should be charged.
    How do you feel he should be punished?

    Have you guys ever seen the movie Sleepers? Where the kids go to jail for accidental man slaughter and become hardened criminals after what happens to them in prison.



    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    I just hope they did and this isn't a case of something else under the guise of an accident.

    I don't know the family but they live just up the street from my parents. It is about the safest part of Provo and I just can't imagine for the life of me that this was anything but an accident.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    Quote Originally Posted by denaliguide
    why don't we teach gun ed in school?
    Great question. But who knows. If they teach gun safety in school, they may feel they're promoting gun ownership.
    Great points. But they'd have to realize that drug education and safety isn't taught for the purpose of promoting drugs.

    I really think it's political. It's stupid really.

  15. #14
    Best thing you can do for your kids in regards to gun safety in Utah is to send your kids through the Hunter Safety program.
    Yes, even if you don't have guns at your house, it's a good idea to get your kids educated on gun safety.

  16. #15
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo
    How do you feel he should be punished?

    Have you guys ever seen the movie Sleepers? Where the kids go to jail for accidental man slaughter and become hardened criminals after what happens to them in prison.



    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    I just hope they did and this isn't a case of something else under the guise of an accident.

    I don't know the family but they live just up the street from my parents. It is about the safest part of Provo and I just can't imagine for the life of me that this was anything but an accident.
    He should be punished by the laws Utah has written in situations like this. Judge's have the discretion to move up or down within what is written. The kid's ignorance is no excuse for taking a life, it is what he did. Let's face it, this kid wasn't a four year old that wouldn't know any better. Nice or not, parents have lost something so precious that they will never get back; the life of a child.

    Yep, saw Sleepers because, it was partially filmed in a town next to mine. The place was an old psychiatric hospital in it's day and I guess it fit the filmmakers backdrop.

    Haven't we learned that the "safest parts" of any community is not immune from tragedy, violence and crime. It can happen anywhere, thinking it cannot is just plain ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech
    But they'd have to realize that drug education and safety isn't taught for the purpose of promoting drugs.

    I really think it's political. It's stupid really.
    Of course it's political...When have you seen a school system that wasn't Yes, but teaching drug education works because it's illegal. So there could be that self righteous pat on the back. Gun ownership is legal and since schools are political, they don't want to be promoting something they may truly not believe in.

  17. #16
    Two wheels from Hell live2ride's Avatar
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    I am game for comminuty service but I happened to have a group of close friends growing up and we were all hanging out at one of our friends house who had alot of guns. I left and went home and no later than 10 minutes after I left one of my friends were accidently shot in the chest, no criminal intent, a pure accident. He didn't die but was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. No charges were filled but the family did go after the other family in the civil courts and win a decent payday which bought them an nice boat, new home and cars, while the other family was forced to claim bancrupcy etc and was torn apart. Do I think it would have helped if they charged him criminaly...Not one damn bit, it may have just worsend the situation, he learned his lesson his family was torn apart and was never the same. I don't think it will make the family who lost there child feel better that they lock up there chlds friend (who I am sure they probably were close to) for a year and ruin their life too?



    Two wheels are better than four, keep the rubber side down.

  18. #17
    Such a tragedy.

    I can only recommend kids do Hunters Safety and spend a LOT of time with their parents and guns so the lessons can be reinforced and respect properly established.
    Please buy my book - "Paiute ATV Trail Guide" at www.atvutah.com - I need gas money!!!!

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by live2ride
    I happened to have a group of close friends growing up and we were all hanging out at one of our friends house who had alot of guns. I left and went home and no later than 10 minutes after I left one of my friends were accidently shot in the chest, no criminal intent, a pure accident. He didn't die but was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. No charges were filled but the family did go after the other family in the civil courts and win a decent payday which bought them an nice boat, new home and cars, while the other family was forced to claim bancrupcy etc and was torn apart.
    That sucks.

  20. #19
    Two wheels from Hell live2ride's Avatar
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    Everyone is sue happy these days so I am sure that the family will get a big pay day one way or the other, regardless it will never bring there child back? I know if I lost my kid in this way I couldn't sue and then buy a bunch of crap cause every time I saw it I would fell terrible cause I received all this junk in result of my childs death?



    Two wheels are better than four, keep the rubber side down.

  21. #20
    I think that there definately needs to be accountability. It does seem clear here that this was a mistake, albeit a horrible one. Coming from someone who spent a sizeable amount of time in youth detention as a teenager, I can't say I think that sending this kid to lockup makes sense. I know alot of kids that came out of lockup as much worse people than they were when they came in.
    Tear down Dams, Build up Dreams!

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