A 16-year-old boy died early Tuesday morning, about two weeks after he was shot during what cops in Columbus called “gun play.”
At 3:31 a.m. on Tuesday, Keontae Harper, who was 16 years old, died at Mount Carmel East Hospital.
Police in Columbus said that Harper was shot around 11 p.m. on April 22 at a house on the Southeast side of the city on the 2900 block of Falcon Bridge.
Before, a Pataskala teen shot his “best friend” to get him to stop playing video games.
Police said that Harper and Denarius Crowder, who was 17 years old, were “playing with handguns when they started jokingly pointing them at each other.”
The tweet below verifies the news:
16-year-old dies Tuesday in Columbus after being shot in April by friend during 'play' https://t.co/woMpScjeR3
— Columbus Dispatch (@DispatchAlerts) May 16, 2023
During this time, Crowder shot Harper. Crowder was first charged in Franklin County Juvenile Court with being a juvenile delinquent for a felony attack. Police said that the charge will be changed to one of reckless murder, which is a delinquency count.
According to posts on social media, Harper’s family decided before his death that he would be an organ donor.
Crowder went to Independence High School last year and played hoops there.
A few days later, city leaders talked about Harper’s killing at a press conference where they urged gun owners to keep their weapons safe and out of reach of children.
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Harper is the fifth person under the age of 18 to die in 2023 in Columbus because of gun crime. In 2022, 11 young people were shot and killed.
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