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Her Gun Jammed. The Next Moment, Tragedy

17-year-old killed while target shooting with friends
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2021 8:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Candace Chrzan was in the backyard of a home in Mount Zion, Georgia, shooting bottles for target practice Tuesday night when her gun jammed. The 17-year-old handed the .22-caliber pistol to the boy whose family owns the gun, police say, and it accidentally fired as he tried to unjam it, a bullet fatally striking Candace in the head. The boy, also 17, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in her death, NBC News reports. Police say he was "physically and visibly distraught and upset" when they arrived at the scene. Another teen who was not present at the shooting was also arrested; he allegedly took to Snapchat to threaten to kill the teen who was involved in Candace's death, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

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Police say Candace's death was a "horrible accident," but a family friend tells 11 Alive that the high school senior's grandparents, who raised her, still have unanswered questions. They say Candace was well-trained in gun safety, and that they didn't know she was going to be target shooting that night. There were three other teens at the home at the time, and the family friend says she doesn't know who one of them was. She also says one of the teens posted a photo to Snapchat of crime scene tape and the ambulance, which is how many people—including, unfortunately, the teen's grandparents—found out about her death. (Read more Georgia stories.)

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