Teen accidentally shoots, kills self while putting gun in waistband

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CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. - A teen in Arkansas accidentally shot and killed himself earlier this week while putting a gun into his waistband.

Family members, heartbroken, told WREG they are praying for answers as they try to grasp what happened.

They say Kevin Branch, 16, was involved in an altercation at a basketball court the day he died.

"Evidently the young man made an idle threat," Angela Jones, the victim's cousin, said. "Kevin feared for his life."

They are still unsure how Branch obtained a gun.

"He went to put the gun into his waistband and we suspect that's when it went off," Chief Todd Grooms of the  Crittenden County Sheriff's Department, said.

Officials said evidence and witnesses, showed the teen had accidentally shot himself in the abdomen.

"We don't suspect foul play in any way," Grooms explained.

The family says Branch was a junior in high school, and an honors student.

"Now he won't be able to enjoy the pleasure of most young men as far as walking across the stage and an honor graduate because his life ended last night," Jones said.

Branch is remembered as a young man who was happy, loved fashion, and worked hard.


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