Mobile County SO: 13-year-old faces charges after accidentally shooting and killing 3-year-old cousin with air rifle

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -“It’s just a very tragic situation,” said MCSO Captain Paul Burch.

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says three-year-old Weston Spelich was playing at his thirteen-year-old cousin’s home late last night in Grand Bay. The two were playing cops and robbers when the teenager hid in the closet and found a 22 caliber air rifle.

“The rifle was originally given to the 13-year-old as a gift. The parents realized it was much more powerful than that child needed to have so they stored it in their closet,” said Burch.

The sheriff’s office says the teenager pointed the air rifle at the little boy and pulled the trigger not realizing it was loaded. That’s when he went for help.

“They were awakened by the 13-year-old carrying the 3-year-old child in his arms saying he had fallen and injured himself,” added Burch.

But when they took Weston to the hospital that’s when doctors saw the injury and his cousin admitted to accidentally shooting him while they were playing. Weston died hours later.

“This is just something that’s terribly sad that a 3-year-old has lost his life but if you consider all the circumstances you know this family’s going to be torn apart because the person involved is also a family member,” said Burch.

The teenager was taken to Strickland Youth Center and charged with criminally negligent homicide, which is a misdemeanor. Captain Burch says he doesn’t expect any charges against any of the adults.

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