2 teens charged in accidental shooting of Harley Jarrett

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- Prosecutors charged two 16-year-old Brighton High School students Monday in connection with an accidental shooting that killed 17-year-old Harley Jarrett.

Cottonwood Heights Police also announced Monday the arrest of a third teen who's allegedly linked to the stolen gun used in the shooting.

Detectives say all the teens involved frequent Guthrie Skate Park near Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. Police say on May 24, two teenagers burglarized a home near the skate park, stealing three guns, and then allegedly passed one of the weapons to another teenager.

On June 4, a .45 caliber revolver was taken into a home near 6800 S. Pine Rock Drive where Harley Jarrett and a group of friends were celebrating the end of the school year at Brighton High. The teens were in the basement and parents were upstairs.

"There's no evidence to suggest they (parents) had any knowledge the gun was in the home," said Chief E. Robby Russo with Cottonwood Heights Police Department.

Newly released juvenile court documents shed more light on what happened.

Court petitions state the homeowner's son, a 16 year-old, was showing off the gun, which he claimed was a "birthday present."

The documents indicate three males, including Jarrett, passed around the revolver inside a closet. One of them pulled the trigger. A single shot hit Jarrett in the head, killing him.

The juvenile petitions added that while police were investigating, the teenager accused of firing the gun, "...approached the officer and said, I swear I didn't know the gun was loaded. I got it from a kid ... who stole it from a home near the skate park."

That teenager is now charged as a minor with negligent homicide and possession of stolen property.

The teen’s uncle, Ryan Corona, said he’s going to be there for his nephew.

"He's family. That's it," Corona said. "I can't wait for him to get out because I just want to hug him and tell him we understand. Everyone understands. No one's blaming, no one's angry."

The homeowner's son is charged with reckless endangerment and possessing the stolen gun.

Meanwhile, Cottonwood Heights Police have followed leads to Big Cottonwood Canyon and across the valley, searching for two firearms that are still on the street as the result of that home burglary.

"That's the most concerning part because they're in the hands of kids or people who shouldn't have them and we don't want this tragedy to re-occur," Russo said.

Harley Jarrett's viewing was Monday night at Mountain View Memorial Mortuary and Cemetery. Jarrett's funeral is Tuesday.

2 comments

  • Bob

    Besides knowing that the gun he was handling was stolen the young man also knew, or should have known, that no person under age 18 may possess a handgun in Utah. His friends will suggest that many kids this age do stupid things. Problem is that this was criminal behavior and it cost one young man his life. I assume the parents of the deceased youth won’t sue the parent(s) of the young man showing off his new “birthday present’.

    Oh well, live and learn I always say.

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