Gun used to shoot teen at Tampa officer's house was not a service weapon: attorney

Tampa defense attorney Rick Escobar has handled a lot of tough cases, but this is one, he says, is of the toughest.

"I can’t imagine what this family is going through. I don’t think anybody could imagine what they’re going through in a loss of a child like this," said Escobar.  

Escobar represents a Tampa police officer and his son in connection with a deadly shooting at the officer's home. The officer's gun was used in the tragic death of 15-year-old Bradley Hulett last month.

On Monday, Bradley’s parents, Meagan and Brad Hulett told FOX 13 their son was playing video games with his three buddies at the officer's home when he was shot.

"Bradley was gaming, had headphones on with his friends, and one of the boys left the room, came back with a weapon, pointed it, fired, and hit him in the back of the head and killed him instantly," Mr. Hulett described.

Now, for the first time, Escobar sheds some light on the weapon that was used. He says the gun is not a service weapon. 

According to Escobar, the officer removed the magazine from the gun and stored it in a locked bedroom - like he always does - yet somehow the boys got in.

"When entrance was made into that particular room, it was not for the purposes of trying to find a gun or anything. It was really a benign reason why they went into that particular room," said Escobar.

Escobar says, as for the bullet, there are many possible scenarios as to why it was in the chamber.

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"When my client was removing the clip, he may have not removed the bullet from the chamber, although his procedure was to remove both of them, all the time," Escobar explained. "Or it could’ve been that that bullet was inserted at some point in time. We’re in the process of still investigating that."

While all the facts are sorted out, Escobar says the TPD officer has reached out to the Hulett family and his teen son attended Bradley’s funeral. 

Escobar says the grief and trauma of that day is something these kids and their families will carry with them for a long time.

"Everyone is heartbroken over this and so, and I certainly understand, it’s going to take many many many years to even start healing," said Escobar.

Escobar said the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has conducted a thorough investigation without rushing to judgments in this case.

He says the officer has not spoken to investigators but provided them the names of witnesses that could help in the case.