Boy charged with manslaughter in friend's shooting death pleads not guilty

Vigil for Edgar Vazquez, the 13-year-old Kelso boy who died in an accidental shooting - KATU photo by Catherine Van

KELSO, Wash. – The 13-year-old who was charged with manslaughter for allegedly shooting and killing his friend has pleaded not guilty to the charge, Cowlitz County court records show.

The shooting took place on October 14 at a home along Carrol Road a few miles east of Kelso.

He called 9-1-1 and reported that he accidentally shot his 13-year-old friend, Edgar Vazquez, while playing with a shotgun, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said. Court documents said that he claimed he was being chased by his friend before the shooting.

Deputies arrived at the house and immediately started medical aid, however Vazquez was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The boy told police he had fired the shotgun before that day.

He said he checked the gun before the shooting by racking the action, and saw a round eject from the shotgun. He told police he racked the action a second time, and thinking it was empty, pointed it at Vazquez and squeezed the trigger.

Deputies said the boy told them that he didn’t intend on shooting his friend and that it was an accident.

He was later charged with a first-degree manslaughter and booked into the Cowlitz County Juvenile Facility.

In a court hearing Tuesday morning (Dec. 5), the boy entered a not guilty plea. He’s due back in court on January 2.

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