VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a teenage girl in Victorville, authorities said.
Deputies responded to a home in the 14400 block of Moon Valley Street shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday after a report of a shooting.
When they arrived, paramedics transported Dakota Washington, 16, of Victorville to a hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to her chest. She was later pronounced dead.
“I heard screaming as I pulled up,” said Melissa Costello, a neighbor. “Somebody took off running and everybody took off running after him, chasing him, but I didn’t really think it was something bad. You know, I thought they probably got into a fight or something.”
Costello said Washington lived in the home with her sister, who was her legal guardian. She says several of the teen’s family members were at home at the time of the shooting.
Investigators said Washington and the boy knew each other; however, there was conflicting information about their relationship.
“I heard it was her boyfriend, but I guess they are saying she only met him three times before that,” Costello said.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was interviewed by detectives Monday and booked into juvenile hall on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Washington’s aunt, Dyiimesa Payne, said her niece, who was a singer and pianist, was shooting a music video with friends using BB guns as props but somehow a real gun came into play.
“The young guy picked it up and … mistook it for a BB gun,” Payne said. “In my heart, I feel like it was an accident.”
Detectives also do not suspect the shooting was deliberate. It’s unclear how the gun was obtained nor to whom it was registered.
On Monday night, dozens of the teen’s friends and family gathered to celebrate Washington’s short life.
“When I say flawless, she didn’t have a flaw on her,” Payne said of Washington. “Life is so precious. It really is. I don’t think these kids understand. You know, they don’t even understand.”
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at (909) 387-3589.