A 17-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself with a semiautomatic handgun Monday night, authorities said.
“It was just an accident under the influence of alcohol,” Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Office, which received a call about a shooting about 11:15 p.m. Monday, quickly dispatched officers to the South Tower Estates home, but family had already transported the wounded teen to a McAllen hospital, the sheriff said.
Authorities identified the deceased teen as Israel Torres.
Deputies spoke to the teen’s “highly intoxicated” father, who told them he and his two sons were in the backyard when they heard a gunshot and saw Torres drop. But that version of events did not make sense to officers, and after a brief period of questioning, the father told a different story.
“All three are pretty drunk when someone pulls a .380-caliber, semiautomatic (handgun) and shoots it into the backyard,” Treviño said. “The 17-year-old gets it and tells his girlfriend, ‘Here, look, pull the trigger.’”
The teen’s girlfriend refused to handle the loaded weapon, so he pulled out the gun’s clip and aimed at a butane tank, but he “thought twice” about shooting it and instead pointed it at his head, Treviño said.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story reported, “A teen who may have thought his gun was unloaded shot it at a butane tank, only to have the bullet ricochet and end his life.”