A tragic New Year’s Eve shooting that left two teenagers dead has a metro Atlanta community shaken and searching for answers.
Gwinnett County Police said 15-year-old Devin Hodges was showing a handgun to his friends in a makeshift shed in a Lawrenceville subdivision earlier this week when the gun accidentally went off, striking his friend Chad Carless, 17. Carless died from his injuries before help could arrive.
The other teens fled following the shooting, police said. A distraught Hodges then wandered into a random backyard before turning the gun on himself.
“It appears that a group of four males were gathered in a makeshift shed. At some point, a gun was displayed,” a department press release states. “The gun was fired and one subject was struck. The men then ran from the shed. Two of the friends heard what they described as a pop and found who we believe was the initial shooter, deceased of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Friends said Hodges and Carless posted video to social media that same evening showing themselves pointing and flashing guns at the camera. Neighbors told local station WSB-TV they are still trying to wrap their minds around what happened.
“You know, it’s New Year’s Eve and to have this happen so close to home, it’s just really devastating,” said one neighbor, who declined to be identified. “This was just really unexpected. Nothing like this ever [happened] in this neighborhood.”
Tanya Gutierrez, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 12 years, was equally shocked. She said she and her son were home when the shootings happened and live just a few houses down from where Hodges took his life.
“My son just came to tell me to look outside the window and we just saw all the police activity,” Gutierrez recalled.
Bralen Bennett, 15, who attended Discovery High School with the two boys, said he’s “angry” that guns have claimed the lives of his two friends.
The incident is still being investigated as detectives now work to determine where Hodges got the gun and why the teens chose that particular shed.
Watch more in the clip below.