Community mourns teen killed in accidental shooting as 2 juveniles remain in custody

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- Friends and classmates are talking about an accidental shooting that left one Brighton High School student dead and two others in juvenile detention, facing potential charges.

Friends say 17-year-old Harley Jarrett just wrapped up his junior year. On Wednesday, the last day of school, Jarrett went to celebrate with friends but when a gun was introduced, it took his life and altered many others.

"He had a great soul. He tried to help everyone. I still just can't believe he's gone," said Amanda Smith, who knew the victim.

"He wasn't angry, he had a lot of love, a lot of love," said Ryan Corona, a family friend.

Jarrett joined four other teens Wednesday night at a home near 6800 South Pine Rock Drive. Police said parents were upstairs on the main floor while the group of five teens was in the basement.

"It would appear the guys went into a closet to handle or look at a firearm, pulled the trigger, it went off and struck one of the individuals in the head and killed him," said Lt. Mark Askerlund with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.

After the accidental shooting, friends and family left flowers and balloons outside Jarrett's home. Ryan Corona lives with Jarrett's father. They're roommates.

"He's devastated," Corona said. "It was his reason for living, his son was his reason to be here on this planet."

Corona's nephew is also one of two 16 year olds who were arrested and are now facing potential charges.

"One for negligent homicide, the other one for possession of a stolen firearm," Lt. Askerland said of the teens.

"These kids need to think, they need to start thinking, I don't understand it," Corona said. "Maybe it's time to really start teaching kids at a young, young age really have these programs, don't be afraid to hit the panic button if a gun is out. Get out! Get the adult."

Police said the gun involved was stolen a week or so ago during a residential burglary in Cottonwood Heights. Detectives are still trying to determine how one of the teens involved was able to get his hands on the weapon.

Two 18 year olds who were in the home at the time were questioned and released, but the two 16 year olds arrested remain in juvenile detention.

17 comments

  • Bob

    One boy either steals or obtains a firearm he knows is stolen, and another one decides it might be a good idea to pull the trigger. Now one boy is in the morgue and his two buddies are in juvenile detention. Now there will be a severe price to be paid for their misbehavior. I suppose that by now someone has told them that it is against Utah law for a person under age 18 to possess a handgun.

    • rita

      I am the mother of one of Harley s’ friends. I truly looked forward to the times Harley walked over the threshold into my home. He was an amazing soul full of love for humanity and a smile for
      EVERYONE!!! Was he stupid??? Absolutely not! Did he make stupid decisions at 17??? Most likely. He was so above his years on this earth. Yes, a stolen gun was involved, but none of the teens were involved in the burglary . Seeing a gun, believing it was empty of live rounds and boys being boys (albeit ignorant of gun danger) a tragedy happened that will forever change the lives of his family, his friends (esp the ones who held him at his last moments) and ones just like me who could see the greatness in not only this kid but the other two who are also friends of my son. My heart truly aches. And the ignorant folk like yourself who make these silly comments only pours salt on the open wound. I pray that never you have to feel the pain his family feels at this moment…..it is enough to want to take your own life.

      • Bob

        So the questions Rita are:
        What were these boys doing with a stolen firearm?
        Why are 16-year old boys in possession of any handgun, stolen or not. That itself is against the law.
        Why was one 16-year old arrested on a possession of stolen property charge?
        Why was one 16-year old arrested on a negligent homicide charge?

        How about a little sympathy for the victim of the home burglary?

  • Bob

    One of them permanently. Too bad they don’t teach gun safety in school. It would have save a life.

  • Bob

    You’re right about the Darwin Awards. Shooting a friend while showing off a stolen revolver should at least get a nomination.
    Most of us learn from the mistakes of others. Some of us have to be the others. Zig Ziggler quote.

  • Candace

    How dare people say such horrible things! These are CHILDREN! I don’t care if they are teenagers. These boys are loved and it was a tragedy that this accident happened. Our community is close and this affects so many people. Please have some respect for the victims and their families.

    • Bob

      How dare people try to minimize the seriousness of the actions these suspects have been charged with. One young man is DEAD because of their actions. Do you even have the faintest idea of what’s going on here? A homeowner was victimized and among other things a handgun was stolen. This wasn’t a childish prank. It was a crime, and the days of coddling are over. If the suspects are certified to stand trial as adults they could both spend a year in the Salt Lake County jail.

  • CT

    “Eric” & “Bob”, you two are despicable. Yes it’s true, the gun is being reported as stolen. Assuming this kid had any involvement with the theft/burglary, there is no way he deserved anything close to what happened to him. He was a 17 year old adolescent. Many kids this age do stupid things. My guess, having read several of your grammatically incorrect and misspelled posts, you aren’t very bright individuals yourselves and have probably done countless stupid things.

    Candace, don’t let these two doofuses get to you. They are obviously so upset with their own lives that they simply can’t appreciate the severity and sadness of this incident.

    • Eric Cartman

      CT, these kids were obviously not going to be the bright leaders of our future. They most likely would have turned out to be criminals. Better they were stopped now and not later… Darwinism works, these kids proved that… Good riddance to stupid people.

      • rita

        Coddling??? Who is coddling? Yes, there is mass devastation…..not only for the victims family but for the families of these young boys. These kids try to be all grown up because society pushes it on them……..but in their heart they are children who have been witness to the most horrific scene. They are terrified, hurt, devastated. Should they stand trial for ignorance of gun being loaded?????? These are NOT bad kids……only kids who have made a bad decision to handle a gun. EVERY GUN IS A LOADED GUN!!!!!

      • Bob

        The rule of thumb Rita when playing with a stolen revolver is to swing the cylinder out and visually verify that there are no rounds in the chambers. Too bad these boys didn’t get some firearm training. Too bad these boys were playing with a stolen revolver. Too bad one boy decided to pull the trigger. There are penalties attached to criminal behavior. Fortunately, most of the time the penalty doesn’t get paid …. in full.

    • Bob

      Harley Jarrett didn’t deserve to die CT. He died as a consequence of negligence. It was illegal for these 3 teenagers to even possess this revolver, stolen or otherwise. Yes, kids this age do stupid things, and in this particular case their stupid behavior cost one of them their life.
      I’ll let you focus on my spelling and grammatical errors CT. Some errors are much easier to correct than others.

  • Anon

    My heart goes out to the victims all around from the one whose house got broken into and for the family and friends of the one shot by the stolen gun. Although this all could have been avoided by not breaking into the home where the guns original owner resides imagine what could have happened. They could have gone out and robbed or killed someone innocent or even taken the gun to school the next year. This group of friends choose from the moment they entered the house to steal the gun or from the moment that they took possession of the gun to go a path that could lead to someone or multiple people getting shot… Again my heart goes out to Harleys family and friends.. but in my opinion it could have been much worse.

  • adrian

    Thats my little cousin who just passed away so I’d appreciate it if you either a) keep your ignorant comments to yourself and learn some respect or b) write your name and the address of where you’d most like your @$$ kicked, preferably somewhere with a hospital nearby for your own sake. I dont appreciate such comments about my family, especially when they aren’t there to say anything back. If your gonna flap your jaw flap it to me so i can break it.

    • Bob

      What part of the story do we have wrong ADRIAN? Is it the part about the revolver being stolen from a victim in Cottonwood Heights one week earlier, the part about one thief being arrested for possession of that revolver, or is it the part where his buddy thought it might be a good idea to pull the trigger without regard to where the barrel was pointed? Knowing the revolver to be stolen, knowing that it is illegal for 16-year olds to own or possess a handgun perhaps Harley Jarrett should have left. Oh well, live and learn, right ADRIAN?

      My sympathies to the homeowner who was victimized by this burglary.

  • Bob

    Your comical empty threats ADRIAN are a reflection on your immaturity. I assume that the three teenagers in this story all share your mental mindset. Just a little advice son: Put your moves on the wrong individual and you’ll end up wondering why you can’t get air down your windpipe.

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