According to a fundraiser for the teen's medical expenses, a Massachusetts
teenager has been paralyzed after a friend accidentally shot him while showing off a new gun
On Saturday, police
in Woburn, Massachusetts, reported that Jemil Evans, 19, was shot at the home of his 22-year-old friend Alex Augustino Braz.
“Braz was showing him a newly acquired handgun, and in the process there was an unintentional discharge that struck the victim in the neck,” Woburn Police Chief Bob Rufo Jr.
told the magazine, adding that Braz told authorities he thought he had “unloaded it or made it safe.”
“It was a very bad decision that tragically changed both of their lives in a matter of seconds,” Rufo said.
Rufo stated that Braz drove his friend to the hospital
and stated that he heard a gunshot while in the bathroom and then saw an unknown intruder dressed in black
running through his home.
That was proven false by police, he added.
According to Mass Live, officers arrested Braz and charged him with assault
and battery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and improper firearm storage. His license to carry, which he reportedly obtained in April
, was immediately suspended.
According to a GoFundMe page set up to help Evans with medical bills, equipment, and housing
, the shooting
happened in the teen's hometown of Woburn, Massachusetts, after he'd visited family in Maine
“One of his friends
was excited [to] show him his new gun as he had just received his license to carry, and this is the moment that tragically changed Jemil’s life forever,” according to the page. “He was shot in the neck and the bullet severed his C6 and other parts of his spinal cord.”
Evans is “permanently paralyzed,” according to the page, and will be confined to a wheelchair
“for the rest of his life.”
By Tuesday night, the fundraiser had exceeded its $25,000 goal by more than $12,000 dollars.
According to Rufo, the police chief, many people
do not realize there is a “tremendous degree of personal responsibility in firearm ownership” in terms of storage, handling, and proficiency of use.
According to WHDH, Braz's attorney stated that his client and Evans were best friends and that he is devastated by the shooting. Braz reportedly pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday and was released on bail.