Boy, 16, charged in brother's death

December 12, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A 16-year-old St. Mary's County boy was charged yesterday with shooting his younger brother to death with a 9mm MAC-11 assault weapon, but the teen-age suspect said the gun accidentally discharged, state police said.

Richard Carl Schulz of the 2600 block of Yowaiski Mill Road in Mechanicsville was charged as an adult with manslaughter by state police homicide investigators who questioned him for several hours.

He was being held yesterday in lieu of $100,000 bond at the St. Mary's County Detention Center. He could have a bail hearing tomorrow.

Though the teen told police the shooting was unintentional, "his story changed several times," said Mike McKelvin, a state police spokesman. "Several witnesses say they saw the youth showing off the weapon, and apparently he and his brother had trouble in the past."

The victim, David William Schulz, 13, was shot once in the head Friday, above his right eye, police said. Mr. McKelvin said the bullet passed through the youth's head, through two walls and lodged in a third wall of the home.

David was flown by Maryland State Police MedEvac helicopter to Children's Hospital in Washington, where he was pronounced dead at 7:16 p.m., about two hours after authorities received a call reporting the shooting.

Authorities said they arrived at the home at 5:06 p.m. and found David in a downstairs bedroom.

Richard first told investigators that he was upstairs talking on the telephone when he heard a shot, according to court documents filed yesterday. He said he thought an unknown intruder had broken in and shot David. But during further questioning at the house, the young suspect "finally admitted that there was no unknown intruder, but that it was an accident," the court documents say.

According to those papers, the youth told police his brother wanted to see the weapon, which is similar to an Uzi. While he was showing it off, the gun accidentally fired, the youth told police. "The defendant stressed that he did not have his finger on the trigger when it discharged," the court papers say.

Mr. McKelvin said the suspect called police immediately, but also called a friend before authorities arrived. The friend advised him to hide the weapon and tell the story of the intruder, the spokesman said.

Court documents say police retrieved the weapon, which was fully loaded with a 30-round clip, from a cubbyhole in the chimney on the outside of the house. The youth told police he stole the gun from a neighbor's home a few days earlier, the documents say.

Mr. McKelvin confirmed that the serial number on the weapon showed it had been reported stolen by a neighbor.

The spokesman said the weapon has two settings -- one for fully automatic and one for semiautomatic. He said the gun apparently was on the semiautomatic setting because only one round was discharged.

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