Suspect In Crystal Fatal Shooting Says It Was Accidental

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 17-year-old boy is facing charges in a shooting at a Crystal gas station last weekend that left a Minneapolis teen dead.

Cortez Williams was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Hae’veon Wesley. He was shot in the chest late last Saturday night at the Super America gas station just south of Bass Lake Road on Broadway Avenue in Crystal.

According to the charges, Minneapolis police responded to North Memorial Hospital on a report of a man with a gunshot wound. The man, identified as Wesley, died at the hospital from a single gunshot wound. Witnesses told police that Wesley and a close friend named “Corky,” later identified as Williams, were at the gas station.

The complaint states both Wesley and Williams had guns and decided to switch them. Wesley was shot during the exchange.

According to the complaint, Williams turned himself into police on Monday. He told police he had a .22-caliber handgun when it went off, hitting Wesley. He said they were both drunk, and that the shooting was an accident. Williams told police he and a friend picked up Wesley and went to the Super America to meet other friends. He told police he knew Wesley had a gun and told him to bring it because they were planning on going to a hotel later that night.

The complaint states both were drinking and as they were both traveling in the car, Wesley took out the .22-caliber gun and it went off. He thought he had shot himself, but determined he hadn’t been hit. Williams then took the gun from Wesley.

The two were at the Super American and met up with friends. They were in the back seat of a female’s car with the door open when they decided to switch guns. Williams wanted a .45-caliber gun an intended to give Wesley the .22-caliber. Williams told police he held the gun by the handle and extended the barrel to Wesley, with the gun pointing at Wesley’s shoulder. Wesley grabbed the barrel of the gun, Williams heard a gunshot and Wesley slouched over before he saw the .22-caliber gun fall to the ground.

The complaint states Williams told police he checked on Wesley and saw a hole in his chest. He told the female driver to drive to the hospital. Before they got to the hospital, Williams told the driver to pull over and they removed the guns from the car because he was on probation and knew he couldn’t be around guns. Williams told authorities that he and Wesley were both drunk and “we both mishandled it.”

The incident remains under investigation.

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