Houston & Peach

Forsyth teen and friends were playing with a gun when ‘horrible tragedy’ struck, police say

A Monroe County teenager died Friday afternoon after accidentally shooting himself at a friend’s house in Peach County.

Devin Hammonds was hanging out with friends, “goofing off,” listening to music and handling a .38 revolver when the gun “accidentally discharged” into his head, Byron Police Chief Wesley Cannon told The Telegraph late Friday night.

The 17-year-old, in the company of five friends ages 14 to 16, was sitting on a couch inside a house on Woodland Drive near Interstate 75 when the gun fired about 1:30 p.m.

Hammonds was taken to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room, Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks said.

Cannon said Hammonds, of Lindsey Drive in Forsyth, had spent the night with friends and took the gun with him to the house.

Investigators initially thought the teens were playing Russian roulette, but after interviewing all of them, it was concluded that they were just handling the gun which, at some point, had been unloaded and reloaded.

No adults were home at the time of the shooting, and Cannon said there’s no evidence of negligence.

“It’s a horrible tragedy, is what it is,” Cannon said. “He didn’t mean to do it. He wasn’t trying to commit suicide.”

Cannon said investigators plan to look into where Hammonds got the pistol and to whom it belonged.

“He’s 17 years old; he’s not supposed to have a gun,” he said.