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Beaumont boy, 12, accused of killing his friend

March 08, 2009|Jason Felch

A 12-year-old Beaumont boy was shot dead by his friend Thursday morning in a home with several loaded weapons and no parents, officials said Saturday.

The suspect in the shooting, another 12-year-old boy, was arrested and booked into Riverside Juvenile Hall on suspicion of murder. His parents, Patricia Willis, 33, and Christopher Willis, 48, were arrested on charges of negligent storage of firearms and child endangerment.

"We're still trying to figure out if this was accidental or on purpose," said Beaumont police spokeswoman Darci Carranza, who did not release the identity of either boy.

About 10:40 a.m. Thursday, the suspect called 911 and said that he had heard a gunshot and that his friend was injured, Carranza said. Police arrived at the house in the 100 block of Helen Avenue a short time later and found the friend lifeless with an apparent gunshot wound.

The two boys were alone in the home on a school day while both parents were at work, police determined. A search of the house revealed several unsecured firearms, loaded and unloaded.

Police are investigating the shooting.

Both parents were released Friday on $15,000 bail.

"You have two families whose lives have been destroyed," Carranza said.

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jason.felch@latimes.com

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