Bradenton teen, 15, accidentally shoots friend while playing with gun, deputies say

Manatee County deputies arrested a 15-year-old who they say accidentally shot and critically injured his friend while playing with a gun.

The shooting occurred before 4 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies responded to the 900 block of 14th Street East after receiving a report about the shooting. According to the sheriff's office, they were initially told by a witness that the victim, a 16-year-old, accidentally shot himself in the head while holding a gun.

The victim was taken to Blake Hospital. 

During the investigation, deputies said the victim's friend was playing with a gun when it accidentally went off and a bullet struck the 16-year-old. Officials said there were adults in the house, but they were apparently unaware of what was happening. 

"When deputies arrived, the other teenagers were trying to assist their friend, they were visibly upset they were trying to do what they could to save his life," said Randy Warren, a public information officer with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. 

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The teen suspect was arrested and faces an attempted manslaughter charge. He was booked into Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

"We have every reason to believe based on the interviews from those witnesses that this was an accident, a tragic accident, but there's unfortunately still consequences to go with it," said Warren. 

They're still trying to figure out where the gun came from and how the kids got it. Investigators said more charges are possible.