Probe in fatal shooting of boy, 13, forwarded to state's attorney

August 22, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

No charges were filed yesterday in the shooting death of 13-year-old John Joseph Price near White Marsh, which occurred while four children, ages 9 through 13, played with a gun in a townhouse Thursday afternoon.

"We now forward the entire investigation to the state's attorney's office," Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey said yesterday. "We are continuing to investigate the handgun."

No adults were in the house on Pine Cone Court when the shot that killed John was fired, police said.

Yesterday, the medical examiner ruled John's death a homicide, a legal finding that means he died at the hands of another person.

The ruling does not address the question of whether the person who pulled the trigger meant to kill John. It means only that the death did not occur as a result of natural causes, an accident or suicide.

S. Ann Brobst, an assistant state's attorney, said yesterday that no decision had been made on whether to file charges.

The names of the other three children who were in the townhouse at the time of the shooting have not been released because of their ages, police said.

John, two other boys and a girl had gathered at a townhouse, where the parents of one of the children lives, and one of them found a gun.

Police said someone in the house called 911 at 4: 40 p.m. to report a shooting. When police arrived, they found John in a front bedroom. He had been shot in the head.

Police have refused to disclose any other details of the afternoon's events involving the children.

Police have questioned the three other children and are considering whether to charge the owner of the gun.

Under state law, an adult who fails to keep a gun away from children can be charged with failure to secure a weapon, which is a misdemeanor.

Pub Date: 8/22/98

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