Family demands answers in shooting death of 8th grader

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in the Wednesday night shooting death of an 8th grader in Freeport.

FREEPORT, Texas -- A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in the Wednesday night shooting death of an 8th grader in Freeport. 

Juan Borja, 13, was shot in the chest at Peppermint Park and later died at the hospital.

Police say he and the suspect were hanging out at the park when Juan pulled out a gun, loaded it and suggested they play Russian Roulette. Police say the suspect took the gun, pointed it at Juan and shot him. 

He later hid the gun in a field, according to police.

"We don't have enough information to say it was intentional, but it definitely was reckless," said Captain Ray Garivey with Freeport Police. "We're just urging parents to talk to their kids about not playing with guns, to use this young man's death as an example."

Juan’s family denies he had a gun.

"There was no way he had a gun, even his friends say he didn't have a gun," said Luz, Juan's sister. "It's his other friend who had the gun."

The teen suspect, whose name isn't being released because of his age, is charged with manslaughter and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

Juan was an eighth grader at Freeport Intermediate School. He was also a popular player for the school's football team and a band member, according to the principal.

"He had a lot of friends in intermediate school, he was in band, he was a great kid, no problems, no enemies, nothing," said Blanca, Juan's sister.

Family members provided the public with new photos of the victim early Thursday.

Brazosport ISD posted the following statement Thursday morning on the district's Facebook page:

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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