Charges have been filed in the death of 17-year-old Da’Qwan Jones-Morris, a senior at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights who was shot in a St. Paul house Wednesday afternoon.
Police arrived to the house on the 100 block of Annapolis Street on the city's West Side around 3:30 p.m., shortly after paramedics had arrived at the scene and pronounced Jones-Morris dead.
According to charges filed Thursday in Ramsey County Juvenile Court, Jones-Morris was with two boys, ages 16 and 15, playing the "Madden" video game when the two younger teens passed a gun back and forth.
The 15-year-old told police that he didn't know the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger. That same boy called 911 while the 16-year-old applied pressure to try and stop the bleeding.
The complaint describes the scene that led to the shooting: “He was playing with the gun, racking the slide, pulling the trigger and pointing the laser sight. [The 15-year-old] stated that [the 16-year-old] put the magazine back in the gun and handed it back to [the 15-year-old, who] stated he did not know the gun was loaded and he pulled the trigger, shooting Da'Qwan Jones-Morris who was playing Madden."
Jones-Morris was shot twice in the torso.
According to the charging document, the 15-year-old said he found the gun in the bushes while the 16-year-old claimed he stole the gun from the passenger seat of a vehicle parked at Sibley High School on Oct. 31.
The 16-year-old, whom Bring Me The News will keep anonymous because he is a juvenile, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter/culpable negligence that created unreasonable risk.
The Star Tribune reports that the 15-year-old is facing similar charges, though the Ramsey County Attorney's Office is not releasing his name or details of the charges because of his age.
Independent School District 197 issued a statement after confirmation of Jones-Morris' death:
"Da'Qwan was funny, outgoing, and well liked by students and staff alike. He was a key member of the Warrior football and basketball teams. According to John Carrier, the boys’ varsity basketball coach for Henry Sibley, “Da’Qwan was an amazing young man. He had an infectious personality, which pulled in everyone around him. He also had a great sense of humor and could brighten any situation. Most of all, he was an amazing teammate who was always there to pull others up. His loss will leave a void in our school and the lives of those who knew him.”
Jones-Morris played basketball and was the co-captain of the high school football team.
A GoFundMe to help Jones-Morris' family pay for funeral expenses has so far raised more than $14,000.
"We would like to raise as much money as possible to all go to his family for the burial of Daqwan, knowing how expensive that can be. Even $1 helps!!! Please please help us reach our goal," the fundraiser says.