Houston & Peach

Sheriff: Peach County teen researched, planned own shooting

A 15-year-old Byron resident who reported being shot by an unknown assailant Friday has since been charged with the false report of a crime and tampering with evidence. The sheriff says the teen provided his cousin with a .380-caliber pistol and allowed the cousin to shoot him in the upper left shoulder.

“It was attempt to get attention, best we can figure,” Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese said.

The alleged shooter, a 15-year-old from Warner Robins, is being charged with aggravated assault and falsely reporting a crime.

Deese said the Byron teen researched to determine where he could be shot without threat of more serious physical injury.

“To make it even stranger, apparently they’ve been talking about this for a while,” Deese said.

Since the case was originally reported Friday, Deese said the details of the cousins’ report raised “red flags.” The teens had said an unknown white man shot them after they refused to give him money.

Their story unraveled this week, and investigators got a search warrant for the Byron teen’s home. The gun was found in the teen’s room, where he allegedly hid it after being released from the hospital on Saturday.

“There was something wrong right off the bat,” Deese said.

The first of the warning signs involved the wound itself. While the two teens reported that the shot was fired from 5 or 6 feet away, there was gunpowder on the Byron teen’s jacket, which would suggest a shot from just inches away.

Still, Deese wasn’t quite expecting the final story that his investigators discovered.

“Thirty-two years in law enforcement, you think you’ve seen everything, then this comes along,” he said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.