A juvenile charged in connection with the shooting death of a 15-year-old in Hartford had a court appearance scheduled for today and his attorney said the shooting was accidental.
Police identified the 17-year-old suspect. He was arrested Friday night and charged with murder in the death of Keon Huff Jr.
The suspect's attorney said his client and Huff were friends and it was an accidental shooting. The attorney added that two other witnesses are expected to corroborate that story.
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Police said Huff was found in the hallway of 393 Garden St. with a gunshot wound to his head around 9:30 p.m. Friday and was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the arrest warrant, the four teens were at the apartment on Garden Steet when the 17-year-old pulled out the gun. The other teens, including Huff, told him to put the gun away but the suspect didn't listen.
One witness said he was fixing his shoe when he heard a gunshot and looked over to see Huff on the floor, bleeding from his head, according to the arrest warrant.
The suspect then pointed the gun at the other two teens and told them to pick up the shell casing, one of the witnesses said. The witness said he was scared and thought the 17-year-old would kill him, according to documents.
The group of teens left the apartment. The witness was instructed to throw the shell casing over a fence behind the building and then they all ran to Enfield Street, the arrest warrant states.
The witness said the 17-year-old kept saying he didn't mean to do it.
During a news conference early Saturday, Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said the victim was extremely challenged and troubled in his life.
"Keon Huff's homicide and death I would say initiated about 12 years ago, just as an estimate, and ended on March 17th," Foley said.
Just after the shooting last week, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said he had personally met with Keon last year and the teen was in contact with many community partners who were working to get the support he needed.
“Keon’s death – the eighth homicide in three months, and the youngest life lost in a long, long time – is devastating, and very painful to the many people who knew him and were working with him," Bronin said. "As a society, we all bear responsibility for doing better – not just at getting guns off the street, not just at arresting violent criminals, but at actually supporting those young people who are at risk of being on either side of a gun, long before a tragedy like this happens."
The last time a 15-year-old was killed in a homicide in Hartford was in 2006, authorities said. Foley said he hoped the situation was a wake-up call for the community and authorities to prevent it from happening again.
“These are two lives lost. This isn’t just one life lost, this is two lives lost. We just put another juvenile behind bars and my sense is that it’ll be for a long time,” Foley said.
The suspect's bond was set at $2 million.
He is incarcerated and the case has been transferred to adult court.