A 13-year-old boy shot a 15-year-old in the back bedroom of a Ventura house as a group of teen-age friends looked on in surprise, police said Tuesday.
Ricardo Francisco Vasquez of Oxnard was listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Ventura County Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. His right lung was perforated by the bullet, police said.
The shooting occurred while Vasquez and four teen-age boys were in the back bedroom of a house in the 200 block of South Santa Rosa Street, Ventura Police Sgt. Robert Anderson said. Anderson refused to say who lived at the residence.
The boys were teasing Vasquez's twin brother, who was chatting on the phone with a girl, when the 13-year-old pulled a 25-millimeter semiautomatic handgun out of the closet, witnesses told police.
Half the boys, who ranged in age from 13 to 16, said the shooter pulled the gun from the closet and was handling and manipulating the slide when the weapon suddenly went off. The rest of the boys told police that the 13-year-old pointed the gun directly at the victim and fired almost immediately, Anderson said.
Anderson said police think the shooting was accidental. But they have not yet interviewed the victim and are continuing the investigation.
"We're investigating whether he intended to harm the other person," Anderson said of the 13-year-old. "At this point, there's no information telling us there was any intent to injure."
Police refused to release the name of the 13-year-old. No one had been arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Police also are searching for the owner of the gun, which did not belong to the 13-year-old's parents, Anderson said.
The 13-year-old has had a few contacts with police officers, Anderson said, refusing to disclose further information.