17-year-old girl fatally shot by teen playing with gun in Marion County, deputies say

Teen suspect faces manslaughter charge in fatal shooting of Kelsey Lynn Smith

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A 17-year-old girl was fatally shot while a teenage boy was playing with a gun in a mobile home in Marion County, according to authorities.

Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting took place shortly before 1 a.m. Friday at what appeared to be an abandoned mobile home on 1676 Northeast 97th Street Road, where the victim, identified as Kelsey Lynn Smith, and the suspect had been living.

News 6 is not identifying the suspect due to the fact that he is also under the age of 18.

[TRENDING: Police officer dies in Capitol clash | Fla. man arrested, firefighter investigated in Capitol riot | COVID-19 variant spreading in Fla.]

When investigators arrived at the home, the suspect told them he and the victim had been living there without electricity next to the home where the victim’s family lives.

He also told deputies that the victim’s brother-in-law had given him the gun and told him to clean it for him, according to an arrest report. The suspect said he took the gun next door to the mobile home to wipe it down and told detectives he had a gun cleaning kit in the home but was not able to tell them where it was located.

Deputies said the victim’s brother-in-law told investigators his gun was missing from his truck, which was parked outside at the time of the shooting.

The suspect told deputies he was walking around the room twirling the gun around his finger when it accidentally went off, causing a bullet to strike Smith in the head, according to the report.

After the shooting, the suspect ran next door to the victim’s parents’ house to explain what happened, calling 911 on the way, deputies said.

The victim’s father went back to the mobile home with the suspect, who told the victim “he was sorry and would go do his jail time,” the report said.

The suspect was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center on a manslaughter charge, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

During an interview with detectives, the suspect said multiple times that he knew live rounds were in the chamber and that “he messed up,” according to the report.