BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A teenager died after being accidentally shot in the chest at a Brevard County home Monday afternoon, according to authorities.
The man who shot the teen was trying to repair his AR-15 rifle at the time of the shooting on Tomlin Drive in Cocoa.
Family members of the victim, 18-year-old Reginald Von Wright Jr., are devastated and asking how this could have happened.
"It could be a very tragic accident, but it's neither here nor there. It's not going to bring him back," distant relative Sylvenia Joiner said.
The teen was visiting with friends when the shooting happened around 4:15 p.m. The man holding the rifle told investigators he was trying to repair the safety on the weapon when Wright sat down near him. Deputies said Steven Speed didn't realize his gun was loaded.
"And as he was manipulating it, working on the firearm to make this repair, it fired and unfortunately hit the victim in the chest," Major Todd Goodyear with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said.
Speed immediately called for help and tried to aid the teen who he's mentored in the past, but he did not survive the injury.
"Of course he's devastated, they were very close friends," Goodyear said.
So far no charges have been filed in the case. Speed's weapon was taken and will be tested for any defects. It appears he legally own the gun.