Police: Shooting of teenager ruled accidental


Police: Shooting of teenager ruled accidental

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A teenager is fighting for his life after police say a friend mishandled a loaded gun.

According to police, 18-year-old William Blackwell was visiting a home on the 2300 block of Woodridge Drive on Monday night when the shooting happened.

Witnesses told police Blackwell was holding a .25 caliber pistol that belonged to 18-year-old Robert Goodner when Goodner told Blackwell the safety was off and asked for the gun back.

Goodner told police he mishandled the gun after it was given back to him and it went off, hitting Blackwell in the neck.

Blackwell was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center after first responders performed lifesaving measures at the scene, police said.

"He messed up. That was his best friend. His best friend," said Goodner's older brother, Dtwan Moore.

The two have been best friends since they were young children, and police say by all accounts the shooting was a terrible accident.

This is not the Goodner family's first time dealing with teenage gun violence, and his mother is now speaking out after this accidental shooting.

"It was an accident, but still, why have guns?" said mother Samika Goodner.

Last April, police arrested Samika's step-son, Eric Goodner, after he was accused of shooting and killing Pearl-Cohn student Jonathan Johnson at a bus stop.

"I try to talk to my boys and teach them, but you can only do so much," Samika Goodner said.

The mother said the gun violence needs to stop.

"I remember when I was growing up, we fought. There wasn't no guns, but now it's young boys toting guns and stuff. It's not good," she said. "Just teach your kids guns is not the way. They're not the way."

Blackwell's mother is at Vanderbilt by her son's side. He is listed in critical condition, and his mother asks everyone for their continued thoughts and prayers.

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