16-year-old charged in cousin's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

16-year-old charged in cousin's death

Brandon House Brandon House

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

BARTLETT, TN (WMC-TV) - A Bartlett teen has been charged with reckless homicide in the weekend shooting death of his 12-year-old cousin.

Investigators amended charges late Monday afternoon against the 16-year-old, who has not been identified, in the death of Brandon House.  Brandon was visiting his cousin over the weekend when he was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead yesterday.

Brandon's mother, Debra House, kept her son on life support long enough for his organs to be donated to others.

"I donated all his organs, and you know, they tell eight lives are gonna be saved," she said. "So, he's gonna live on in somebody else."

House said her son, an Appling Middle School student, was supposed to be at a ball game Saturday morning.  But the rain kept him inside his aunt's home on Kirby Lakes Drive. 

His young life ended in an upstairs room.  House said her older daughter heard a single gun shot.

"Only thing she said is when she got up there her little brother was laying against the door and blood was coming out of his eye," she said.

The story of what caused the shooting changed as police conducted their investigation.  The 16-year-old originally told police he was showing off a handgun when Brandon picked it up and accidentally shot himself. 

Monday, investigators learned the 16-year-old had possession of the weapon, and was trying to retrieve it from Brandon - who had been looking at it  - when it discharged.

Debra House, who was interviewed by Action News 5 before the 16-year-old was charged with reckless homicide, said did not believe the shooting was intentional, but believed her nephew should be held responsible - beyond ringing the gun into the house.

"Anybody that does something wrong, illegal, unlawful, needs to learn a lesson," she said.   

If he had lived, House said, Brandon would have taken his first plane ride Sunday. She said was staying with his cousins because they were all taking a trip to Disney World.

Stay with Action News 5 and WMCTV.com for updates on this story.

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