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Colstrip teen charged in accidental shooting of friend with AR-15 rifle

Posted at 11:32 AM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 14:25:16-05

BILLINGS – A 14-year-old Colstrip boy is charged with criminal endangerment after allegedly firing a rifle and injuring another teen.

Colstrip Police Chief Cory Hert said the incident happened on December 14, 2018, at around 10:20 p.m.

Hert said four teens, ages 14 to 17, were messing around with an AR-15 at a home in Colstrip while the adults living there were out of town.

The 14-year-old teen accidentally fired the gun. Hert said the teen wasn’t aware it was loaded.

Another teen was struck by in the shoulder and taken to a local hospital and then transferred to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.

Hert told MTN News it is typical for people in Montana to buy weapons such as an AR-15, “I know a lot of people that have these guns.”

However, he cautions parents to secure guns stored in their homes.

“I think the more safety training they provide their teens, that are going to be handling weapons for hunting and things, the better. In this case, the individual had no training,” he said.

The victim has since been released said, Hert.

Prosecutors are still determining whether to formally or informally charge the teen but Hert did say the charges will be carried through youth court.

-Andrea Lutz reporting for MTN News