PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Port St. Lucie High School student is charged with fatally shooting his 15-year-old friend. Police said he mishandled a weapon while they were riding together in a car Friday night.
Investigators said they received a 911 call just after 11:30 p.m. Friday that the teen was shot and the driver of the vehicle was taking the victim to the hospital.
The victim was in the backseat of the vehicle with other passengers when the firearm was discharged, striking and killing him. This happened while the vehicle was traveling on U.S. 1 near Crosstown Parkway and headed to Jensen Beach, police said Monday.
The car never reached the hospital, hitting another vehicle near the intersection of Southeast Tiffany Avenue and became disabled.
Police later arrived at the crash site, and the shooting victim was taken to the hospital but later died.
A 17-year-old boy, identified as Brian Hurlburt of Fort Pierce, was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting. The name of the victim has not been released.
Assistant Chief Richard Del Toro said Monday that before the victim was shot, the 15-year-old had handed a gun magazine to the 17-year-old.
.@PSLPolice say a 17-year-old Port St Lucie High School student shot and killed his 15-year-old friend in the backseat of a moving car after mishandling a gun, pulling the trigger. Mother of the suspect says the two were best friends, had matching tattoos. @WPTV— Meghan McRoberts (@MeghanWPTV) December 20, 2021
"While traveling in the vehicle, the suspect was handed a magazine from the victim, at which time the suspect unzipped the bag, reached in to pull the firearm out, but he negligently mishandled the firearm by pulling the trigger," Del Toro said.
Following the crash, police said Hurlburt grabbed the gun used in the shooting and also another weapon that the victim had, and disposed of them in a grassy area in an effort to hide the handguns.
Police later recovered both weapons and said they were reported stolen in St. Lucie County in separate incidents.
At least one of the guns in this investigation was reported stolen from a car in the Indian River Estates community in St. Lucie County, according to the sheriff's office.
Sheriff Ken Mascara said the gun was stolen overnight on the evening of Dec. 16 or the morning of Dec. 17.
Hurlburt and another person inside the vehicle were also taken to the hospital for minor injuries sustained in the wreck.
Investigators said there were a total of four people inside the vehicle but did not say if any other charges would be filed.
Hurlburt faces multiple charges included aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Del Toro said both the shooter and victim attended Port St. Lucie High School and had been together in Fort Pierce earlier in the day.