Salley teen death result of self inflicted gunshot wound

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- December 30, 2009

Salley, S.C. --- Aiken County investigators say mishandling of a gun could be to blame for the death of a 16 year old Salley teen. His sudden death shocks his family after the coroner’s report shows the teen died from a severe head injury due to a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Irene Conner says Christmas vacation was wrapping up and she was planning to send her youngest son Brian back to school on Monday, but she’s now planning his funeral. She says she remembers exactly where she was and what she was doing when she found out her 16 year old son Brian had been shot.

"I was out in the yard putting up some posts and didn't know that my child was in the trailer behind us with a bullet in his head, no one told me," said Brian’s mother Irene. She says Brian, a junior at Wagener- Salley High was just a few feet away, next door with friends when the shooting happened. She says when she heard someone scream her son had been shot -- she had to run to his side. "When I got there, my baby was on the living room floor, bleeding out his head," said Irene.

After hours of questioning at least three witnesses from the home, Aiken County investigators along with the coroner’s office concluded Brian mishandled the gun and it fired. But Irene says that's out of character for her youngest son.

"I think my baby was murdered back there. I think somebody else pulled the trigger. I really do. I just want to see justice done. I think that's what he would want," said Irene.

And as this mother comes to terms with what happened, she says what she wants most , she will never have again.

"That's the hardest part, not having him around anymore," said Irene.

The coroner has ruled the case a suicide.

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