Accidental gunshot kills 17-year-old girl

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis man is in jail for accidentally shooting a teen friend. Police say he pulled the trigger on a gun he thought was not loaded.

"Sad occasion. I really hate that," said Jesse McCracken, friend of the family.

Twenty-three year-old Courtney Hatch is behind bars for reckless homicide, after police say he accidentally killed 17-year-old Kennedra Miles. Neighbors close to Hatch's family feel bad for both families.

"17-years-old. Just started her life," noted Phillip McIntire.

Authorities say Hatch was in the back seat of a car at Weaver Road and Canary Lane around 11:00 p.m. Saturday night. Hatch told police he was looking at a small handgun and then pulled the trigger. Miles, who was sitting right in front of him, was then shot through the seat. Hatch told investigators he thought the gun was empty.

Even neighbors who do not know the families involved are disturbed by the situation.

"Just the thought of it, her family losing a young loved one at such a young age," said Bianca Covington. 

Hatch and his friend drove the teen to Methodist South Hospital where she later died from a single gunshot wound to her back. Family friends call the circumstance that impacted two young lives disheartening.

According to the Criminal Court website, Hatch has no prior history of committing any other crime. He is due in court at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning by video arraignment.

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