A 15-year-old boy is in custody in South Carolina after shooting and killing a 12-year-old girl with his grandfather's handgun over the weekend.
According to WYFF, Laurens County deputies found Hope Alexandria Fair with a gunshot to the head at a mobile home Sunday night.
Lt. Jawarski Shelton explained that the 12-year-old girl had been visiting a friend at the mobile home when the 15-year-old suspect came inside the home with the gun at around 6:30 p.m.. The 15-year-old boy originally told police that the weapon had been fired by someone else.
"(He) called the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office stating that he had walked into a residence after hearing a gunshot and found a 12-year-old female on the floor with a gunshot wound," Shelton noted.
But a second caller, the victim's friend, told police that her 15-year-old cousin had been holding the gun when it discharged.
"Eventually, he admitted that he was actually holding the gun when it fired and that he was actually loading a magazine into the weapon," Shelton explained. "When he pulled the slide back, the gun fired."
The pistol was recovered after a search of a wooded area near the home. Investigators determined that the suspect had taken the weapon from his grandfather's vehicle, but did not have permission.
The 15-year-old boy was being held the Department of Juvenile Justice and will be charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was not expected to be tried as an adult.
Michelle Fair, the victim's mother, described her daughter as "strong" and "creative."
"She was definitely one of a kind," the mother recalled. "She was so beautiful."
"I know it was an accident, and he’ll have to pay for that accident for a long time," Michelle Fair said of the 15-year-old boy. "I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for him. I’ll lose my daughter forever. They’re going to lose their kid for a long time, too."
Breanna Fair, the victim's sister, told WHNS that she was still trying to make sense of the shooting.
"Someone doesn't need to leave a gun laying out where kids can grab it," she said.
Watch this video from WYFF, broadcast Dec. 31, 2013.