PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) - Investigators are calling it a tragic accident as a teenage boy was shot dead in Pontiac while moving a gun.
Police say just before 3 a.m. Monday, a 14-year-old Pontiac teen, who friends identified as Yaharee Stennis, was shot in his chest inside a home on Willard Street.
"I heard gunshots at 3 o’clock this morning," said a neighbor, adding "I knew it wasn't fireworks."
According to investigators, there was a gun in the home that was placed under a mattress. Deputies say the teen's 20-year-old cousin told Stennis to move the gun from the bed to another location in the home. As he moved the gun, it accidently discharged.
The teen was pronounced dead at the hospital and the 20-year-old was taken into custody. Deputies say the investigation is still in its initial stages and for now, they are calling it accidental or negligent.
"I pray that this will teach people to be careful with any kind of weapon," said the victim's neighbor Rosetta Guy. "He was very respectable coming home from school and doing his work just being polite."
The quiet community in Pontiac still wondering what led to the fatal shooting of one of its youngest members.
"I just could not believe it and kept telling myself there is no way this could be Yaharee. Not my best friend," said Jamesah Moore.
Neighbors say this teen had great promise but unfortunately that potential will never be fulfilled
"He said 'I'm not going to be like these people here, I want something better for my life,'" said a neighbor recalling Stennis. "I told him that's good, that is a good example, but you need to teach the people you (hang) around with too."