Man charged in fatal shooting of high school student

May 6, 2021 GMT

BECKLEY, W. Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has been charged in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old high school student, police said.

Jeriamyah Fortner, 20, was charged on Wednesday with voluntary manslaughter and wanton endangerment in the death of Dewayne Marquette Richardson Jr., news outlets reported, citing a statement from Beckley Police. Richardson, a basketball player at Woodrow Wilson High School, was shot once in the chest Sunday night.

Investigators determined through interviews and evidence that Fortner had an AR-15 rifle and was handling it recklessly when he inadvertently shot Richardson, police said in the statement.

Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold called the shooting a “senseless tragedy,” The Register-Herald reported. He said one “promising young life” had ended and another had “forever changed for the worst.”

It wasn’t clear whether Fortner had an attorney.