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13-year-old killed in apparent accidental shooting in Cleveland

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Posted at 3:42 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 15:42:25-04

A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed in central Cleveland Sunday. The teen’s brother told police the gun went off while they were lying in bed in their home.

On Sunday, July 15, Cleveland police responded to a home in the 6500 block of Newman Avenue for a report of a male shot, the police report states. They entered the home and found the victim, Joesus West, with an apparent gunshot from the front left of his head to the back right.

West was transported to MetroHealth where he was later pronounced dead.

Police spoke to West’s 21-year-old brother, who said he was not home at the time of the shooting. He said as he was walking home, he heard screams from his other siblings. He went into the bedroom where his brother was shot, picked up the handgun, put it in a white shirt and placed it in a bucket. He would not tell police why he moved the handgun.

Police then spoke to West’s 17-year-old brother, who said he was lying in the bed next to West while using his cell phone. The brother said he knew the gun was in the bed, but he did not touch it. He said he rolled over and continued to use his phone; minutes later, he heard a loud bang and saw his brother was shot in the head. He told police he called 911 and began chest compressions and CPR on his brother.

The 17-year-old brother told police that he found the gun two days before and brought it home.

West’s mother told police she was downstairs during the incident and heard one shot.

Police noticed West’s mother and brother enter and exit the downstairs bathroom quickly while they were at the home. The report notes that there was blood covering the toilet seat, bathtub and floor of the bathroom. A shirt was also on the sink in a bowl, soaking in what appeared to be bleach.

The police report includes a charge for felonious assault – firearm, but it is not clear from the report if West’s brother is charged. Police said on Sunday that this is not a homicide.