Community mourns teen killed in accidental shooting as 2 juveniles remain in custody

Posted at 9:42 PM, Jun 05, 2014

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- Friends and classmates are talking about an accidental shooting that left one Brighton High School student dead and two others in juvenile detention, facing potential charges.

Friends say 17-year-old Harley Jarrett just wrapped up his junior year. On Wednesday, the last day of school, Jarrett went to celebrate with friends but when a gun was introduced, it took his life and altered many others.

"He had a great soul. He tried to help everyone. I still just can't believe he's gone," said Amanda Smith, who knew the victim.

"He wasn't angry, he had a lot of love, a lot of love," said Ryan Corona, a family friend.

Jarrett joined four other teens Wednesday night at a home near 6800 South Pine Rock Drive. Police said parents were upstairs on the main floor while the group of five teens was in the basement.

"It would appear the guys went into a closet to handle or look at a firearm, pulled the trigger, it went off and struck one of the individuals in the head and killed him," said Lt. Mark Askerlund with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.

After the accidental shooting, friends and family left flowers and balloons outside Jarrett's home. Ryan Corona lives with Jarrett's father. They're roommates.

"He's devastated," Corona said. "It was his reason for living, his son was his reason to be here on this planet."

Corona's nephew is also one of two 16 year olds who were arrested and are now facing potential charges.

"One for negligent homicide, the other one for possession of a stolen firearm," Lt. Askerland said of the teens.

"These kids need to think, they need to start thinking, I don't understand it," Corona said. "Maybe it's time to really start teaching kids at a young, young age really have these programs, don't be afraid to hit the panic button if a gun is out. Get out! Get the adult."

Police said the gun involved was stolen a week or so ago during a residential burglary in Cottonwood Heights. Detectives are still trying to determine how one of the teens involved was able to get his hands on the weapon.

Two 18 year olds who were in the home at the time were questioned and released, but the two 16 year olds arrested remain in juvenile detention.