Friends Hold BBQ to Support Teen Accused in Shooting | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Friends Hold BBQ to Support Teen Accused in Shooting
News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Friends and family gathered Saturday for a BBQ to "Free Tyler Willis," the teen accused by police of attempted manslaughter and using a firearm while under the influence of drugs.

First Coast News has also learned that former state attorney Harry Shorstein, who is now a defense lawyer, is representing Willis. Shorstein said Friday he couldn't do an interview about the case.

Willis is still in jail, with police saying he's charged with attempted manslaughter and using a firearm under the influence of drugs.

Saturday, his family and friends raised money for his defense fund with a BBQ on Die Hard Lane. Since the day of the shooting, First Coast News has tried to get their side of the story. One friend, Clint Anglin, approached us on the side of the road.

"I just want to know why they're trying to make my friend out like he's a killer when it was just an accident?" Anglin said.

The shooting happened three weeks ago at a home on Old Plank Road. Detectives say Willis told them he accidentally dropped the shotgun. But police say that contradicts evidence at the scene, including the trajectory of the shot and the trigger safety mechanism.

"If you take a gun and slap it on the butt, it will cause that firing pin to hit that bullet and that bullet will go off," Anglin said. "I have no idea why this is going on. I have no idea. I just know that my friend is facing some serious charges on an accident. It's bull crap. There should be no reason he's sitting in there."

Anglin said the charge "attempted manslaughter" doesn't exist. We called the Lauri-Ellen Smith at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to check. She said there is an "attempted classification" allowed for in the manslaughter statute used when the victim does not die.

The case is scheduled in court again for Tuesday, but that could be pushed back. The state attorney's office has not yet decided whether to pursue the charges.

News

Downtown Jacksonville Deals

Downtown Jacksonville Businesses