Community mourns death of 13-year-old boy killed in ‘accidental shooting’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —A Southeast Memphis community is hurting after losing another teenager to gun violence.

13-year-old Carl Fowler died over the weekend after police say his friend accidentally shot him.

A vigil is being held at Kirby Middle School, where Fowler attended, to honor his life.

Fowler's family spoke with WREG about who he was and how they want every parent to be at the vigil Monday night, so they can understand the realities of gun irresponsibility.

"It hurts me so much every time I think about it - getting that call saying your brother's gone," said Brandon Barnes, Fowler's brother.

Brandon Barnes says he was celebrating his birthday Saturday night when he heard the terrible news about his 13-year-old brother, Carl Fowler.

"I don't think I can ever celebrate my birthday again because I can't believe he left me on my birthday," said Barnes.

Family says Fowler was with his two friends playing video games when one of the friends pulled out a shotgun.

The 13-year-old suspect was reportedly pointing the gun at Fowler and the other friend when it went off, shooting Fowler in the head.

“It makes no sense. We’ve been praying and praying for understanding, but we can’t understand this. We can’t understand this because he was a good kid. This is terrible," said Lakesha Farmer, Fowler's cousin.

Fowler’s family says his friends then dragged him outside where authorities found him along Hickory Trace Cove.

“He was captain of his basketball team. He made good grades. He had drive. He had determination," said Farmer.

She says Fowler wanted to be a professional basketball player and was dedicated to making it happen.

Raised by a single mom with 12 siblings, family says Fowler was always the goofy, fun one in the room.

“It’s not good to say you have a favorite, but he was everybody’s favorite. He brought the happiness," said Angel Barnes, Fowler's sister.

Now all they can ask is for other parents to take gun responsibility seriously and teach their kids how dangerous they are.

“The fact that they did not teach their child that, we’ve lost our Carl. He was 13 and it’s so hurtful to us," said Farmer.

Saying despite the pain, they forgive the suspect's family and hope this will be a lesson to everyone.

The 13-year-old suspect is charged with reckless homicide.

Carl Fowler’s family has a GoFundMe set up you can find here.


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