13-year-old, playing with gun, dies from gunshot to head

Police said boy and friend were playing with gun when it accidentally discharged

December 28, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A 13-year-old Northeast Baltimore boy, who police said was playing with a gun with a friend, was shot in the head and killed Monday, police said.

Charles Diesmesor and a 14-year-old friend had gone into the bedroom of Charles' older brother in the 2800 block of Westfield Ave. and picked up a .380-caliber handgun, said Maj. Terrence McLarney, commander of the city police homicide unit.

One of the boys took the clip out of the weapon, but they did not realize it still had a bullet in the chamber, McLarney said. As they played with the gun, it accidentally discharged and Charles was struck in the head. Police were called to the scene at 3:10 p.m., and Charles was pronounced dead at about 3:45 p.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

McLarney said the second boy initially told police that Charles had shot himself. "After a while, he told us what we believe is the truth and what looks to be consistent with the autopsy," McLarney said.

Police said the investigation is continuing. In 2008, a teen was charged as a juvenile with involuntary manslaughter after a gun accidentally discharged as he and another teen were play-fighting. The decision of whether to pursue charges in Monday's shooting will be determined by the state's attorney's office.

Police said the death was originally added to the city's homicide total, an attempt they said to "err on the side of caution," but removed after detectives determined the death was accidental.

McLarney said police were also working to trace the gun to determine if it was legally registered.


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