Teen killed in accidental shooting during senior skip day
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A young man was killed in accidental shooting on Wednesday as he and a friend played with a gun.
Curtis Johnson was close to graduating, but he died when the gun went off in the 4600 block of Chelwood Drive in Southeast Memphis.
Social media posts say it was senior skip day. The high school senior was shot during school hours.
According to police, witnesses identified 19-year-old Kendrick Patterson as the shooter.
MPD says that after arresting Patterson, he confessed to playing with a handgun and shooting Johnson.
Patterson is charged with reckless homicide. Johnson's family was too emotional to talk on Thursday, but his grandmother said both young men were friends and they believe this was truly an accident.
A neighbor WMC Action News 5 spoke to says although the shooting was accidental, the repercussions will last for a very long time.
"It's going to affect everyone in their family," said a neighbor. "I mean, they got their whole future ahead of them. I mean, I know this may be an accident. It's going to be something they think about forever and would be forced to grow up quickly."
Shelby County Schools released the following statement:
"Southwind HS students and staff are coping with the loss of a classmate following a tragic off-campus incident. Grief counselors have been present on the campus to help students through this unfortunate situation."
SCS would not confirm whether the two students were a part of a senior skip day. School officials say "skip days" are not district or school-sanctioned events.
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