Florida teen killed by best friend with gun stolen from patrol car, police say

Sunday, November 26th 2006, 9:38 pm
By: News On 6

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) A teenager stole a gun from a patrol car and accidentally shot his best friend in the forehead, killing him, police said.

The 17-year-old shooter was arrested on grand theft charges, and will face manslaughter charges in the death of Robert Scott Thomas Jr., Port St. Lucie police spokeswoman Michelle Steele said.

The Associated Press is not identifying the teen because of his age.

Thomas was hanging out in his friend's bedroom Friday when the boy showed off a .380 Colt pistol. He told authorities he and some friends stole the gun from a patrol car owned by a Martin County Sheriff's deputy. It was unclear if the car was locked, Steele said.

The boy removed the magazine from the gun, but didn't realize a bullet was in the chamber. He hit Thomas in the forehead, knocking him off the end of the bed. Thomas was on life support and pronounced dead on Saturday, Steele said.

The 17-year-old was at a juvenile detention center Saturday. It was not known whether he had a lawyer.