BALDWIN COUNTY, Ga. — A teen faces one count of involuntary manslaughter after a 10-year-old Milledgeville boy died Thursday.
Involuntary manslaughter means negligently causing the death of another person, according to Cornell Law.
Charlie Patton, 10, was shot in the head with a pellet gun. 17-year-old Jamarius Walls was arrested and charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter.
According to CDC data from 1995, in the United States, most persons treated for BB and pellet gunshot wounds (GSWs) were children and teenagers.
"It's a tragedy for all involved," Major Scott Deason with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office said.
Deason said that 17-year-old Jamarius Walls knew the boy.
"The 17-year-old was friends with the family and frequents the residence of the victim," Deason said.
Baldwin County deputies responded to a call around 5:45 p.m. about Patton being shot in the head.
Patton was taken to Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and was flown to Atlanta Children's Hospital. He later died there, according to Deason.
Deason recommends that everyone watch their surroundings when handling anything that looks like a gun.
"Always assume it's loaded. Never point it at anyone. It could malfunction or go off, and this is where we are in this tragedy," Deason said.
Deason said investigators believe it was an accident.
"All the evidence and witness statements we have from the scene led us to believe that this is not intentional," Deason said.
Patton was a student at Midway Hills Academy. On Thursday, the school notified teachers and students about his passing.
"We feel for all parties involved. Obviously, we lost a 10-year-old in our community. The school and classmates and family members are affected by this. We're all affected by this. Me as a father is affected by this, you know? I'm affected by this," said Deason said.