FREEPORT, Texas — A 13-year-old boy who was fatally shot at a park in Freeport Wednesday was playing a game of Russian Roulette with friends, according to police.
Officers from the Freeport Police Department responded to a call about possible fireworks or gunshots at Peppermint Park in the 1200 block of W 8th Street around 5:45 p.m.
Moments later, police received another call reporting that a wounded teenager was unconscious and lying face down in the grass. Witnesses reported seeing several teens fleeing the park.
Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and transported the victim, identified as 13-year-old Juan Borja, to Brazoria Medical Regional Hospital with CPR in progress.
The teen did not survive.
Investigators learned that Borja brought a gun to the park. He pulled out the revolver and showed it to his friends, suggesting they play a round of Russian Roulette. Police said Borja loaded the gun, and another one of his friends — who is 14 years old — took it and aimed it at Borja.
The 14-year-old fired the gun, striking Borja in the chest. All of the teens panicked and ran. The gun was then hidden in a field.
The gun has been recovered and the teen shooter has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and tampering with evidence.
“He [the suspect] is remorseful, they do know each other and attend school together,” a police spokesperson said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office are assisting with the case.
Brazosport ISD released the following statement:
“BISD is mourning the loss of one of our Freeport Intermediate students at this time. Our hearts are broken by this loss, and we extend our deepest sympathy to family and friends. Our District Crisis Intervention Team and other staff will be providing counseling services as needed for the students and staff members impacted by this tragedy.
“If your child is struggling dealing with a difficult loss, please encourage them to seek help from a caring adult. Each Brazosport ISD campus has counselors available for our students. Do not hesitate to contact your campus counselors, administrators, or the Brazosport ISD Office at (979) 730-7000 if your child needs any assistance.”
A Gofundme account has been set up to help the family. Click here to donate.
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