Grandparents, four others facing charges related to accidental shooting of Alexander Co teen

TAYLORSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Six people have been arrested and charged in connection to the Wednesday morning accidental shooting of a 15-year-old from Alexander County near Taylorsville.

The grandparents of the teen were arrested Thursday and charged each with one count of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Connie Mack Brown, 68, and Sharon Melinda Brown, 63, were both placed under a $5,000 secured bond.

As they were led for questioning, both grandparents denied having any knowledge of guns, alcohol or drugs in the shed where the teens had gathered. "I did not do this," Sharon Brown said.

As for what happened when the teen was shot, the victim's cousin, Andrew Brown, was among others who were arrested. Andrew Brown is facing drug charges in the case.

Andrew Brown says the teens were not doing what investigators allege. "We was not playing any games," Andrew Brown said. Andrew Brown said his cousin picked up the weapon and pulled the trigger. "He thought it was unloaded," Andrew Brown said.

Sheriff Chris Bowman says the teen, along with at least four others, were in a shed around 4:14 a.m. Wednesday behind a home on Zeb Watts Road.

On Wednesday, the sheriff's office said "They were playing a game of some sort."

Andrew Brown and three others are facing drug charges in connection to this shooting.

Andrew John Brown, 17, Juan Luis Gonzalez Shanchez, 17, Cody Mack Barnes, 20, and Garrett Whisnant, 22, were all arrested Thursday and charged with misdemeanor simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Andrew Brown would not say where the teens got the weapons and would not talk about the drugs and alcohol found by authorities. Andrew Brown claimed his group was being targeted target by another group and that was why they had the weapons. "We had the guns for protection," Andrew Brown said.

Sheriff Chris Bowman said there has been several incidents, including a fire and unsolved shootings into homes and vehicles in that part of the county lately. Investigators plan to continue to question the teens.

Brown, Gonzalez, Barnes and Whisnant were each placed in jail under a $2,000 secured bond.

The 15-year-old boy is recovering after suffering a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The male teen grabbed at a 9mm pistol on a swivel chair and it went off, deputies said. The sheriff's office said the teen had shot himself in the abdomen area. Deputies said the teen was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.

The teen underwent surgery, the sheriff's office said. The teen is expected to recover, deputies said.

Authorities say there were three weapons in the shed at the time of the shooting. Deputies also found drug paraphernalia and bottles of alcohol.

The grandparents and the four men will have their first court appearance in the Alexander County District County June 26.

This is an active investigation.

More charges and arrests are possible.

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