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As reported tocay by The Daily Inter Lake:

Mother: Eureka shooting was accidental
Posted: Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 - 11:45:58 pm PDT

By CHERY SABOL
The Daily Inter Lake nd The Associated Press

A grieving Eureka mother wants people to know that her teenage son accidentally killed himself and another teenager last weekend.

Jacob Lee, 19, of Eureka, and Lorena Mocko, 16, died after the 1 a.m. shooting on a Tobacco Road home Saturday.

Lee’s mother, Sheri Lee, said her son’s death was accidental and not a suicide, as it has been called.

She desperately hopes that parents will talk to their children about the dangers of mixing alcohol and guns, she said.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lee died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The bullet reportedly passed through his body and struck Mocko, also killing her.

Detective Darren Short of the Sheriff’s Office is investigating the tragedy.

“There’s probably not, at this point” any reason to think the shooting wasn’t accidental, Short said Tuesday.

He went to the state crime lab in Missoula for the autopsies on the two teenagers.

Lee said her son and two friends were target practicing Saturday. Later, a group of teenagers wound up at a party in a house south of Eureka. Witnesses at the party told Lee that Jacob — thinking it was empty after target practice — took out his gun and started playing with it.

One of the teens told him, “Jake, don’t play with that gun like that.” The teens said he responded, “Why not? It’s not loaded.”

Then he pulled the trigger and died instantly. Mocko reportedly died soon afterward.

The county coroner “used the word suicide,” contradicting what witnesses saw, Lee said.

“He’s never been suicidal,” Lee said of Jacob. “He’s a very happy-go-lucky young man.”

Jacob was born in Whitefish and raised in Eureka on the Spiritual Sky Ranch, which offers trail rides.

He worked in home construction and lived in a home in town before his death, Lee said.

She is a proud mother, describing her son.

“He was a genius cowboy mechanic” who could build a car by age 9 and make it run, she said.

She wants people to know that Jacob’s death was accidental, not intentional, and to warn other youths.

“Alcohol and guns don’t mix. You don’t play with guns,” Lee said. “It’s an important message.”

A memorial service is planned for Jacob Lee at the Spiritual Sky Ranch Thursday at 4 p.m. It is open to the public.

Jeri Mitchell, a close friend of Mocko’s mother, described the shooting as “just a total freak thing.”

Mocko, who was studying to become a paramedic, was born in Whitefish but had lived in Fernie most of her life with her mother, Laura Abrahamsen, and four siblings, Mitchell said. Her father, David Mocko, lives in Eureka.

“She was beautiful,” Mitchell said. “Absolutely beautiful, inside and out. This is so bad. Tragic. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mitchell said Mocko had friends and a boyfriend in Eureka and was in town visiting when she was shot.

Lee was not known as one of Mocko’s contacts, and likely just happened to be at the same house party that night, Mitchell said.

Mocko’s remains were being returned to Fernie on Tuesday. Funeral services for Mocko are scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the Fernie Baptist Church.

The story can be found at; http://www.dailyinterlake.com/articles/2006/06/28/news/news02.txt

- Janq

Note: I'm posting this as a reminder to everyone to remember the basic rules of firearm safety.
* Guns and alcohol/drugs/impaired thought do not mix.
* It's _always_ loaded.
* Do not play with or point guns at anything you would not have a problem with destroying by 'accident'.
:(
* As suggested and reminded by Jamz...Always be aware of your background in the event you hit or miss.
 

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obviously did not follow rules 1, 2 or 3 in that order.

edit: Or 4 either for that matter, the bullet went past it's initial target causing more harm
 
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