Police: Pot-smoking Teen Playing With Gun Behind Slaying
WILKES-BARRE — A teen playing with a pistol while smoking marijuana mortally wounded his friend in a shooting last weekend in North Wilkes-Barre, according to charges filed Wednesday.
Kahzmeek A. Prater, 18, of 768 N. Pennsylvania Ave., walked out of court in handcuffs and apologized to the family of Jacob T. Shedlock, 18, who was shot and mortally wounded at Prater’s home near Weir Lane around 11 p.m. Friday.
“I didn’t mean to do all this. It was a big accident,” Prater said as police put him in the back seat of a waiting car. “I really loved my friend Jacob.”
According to the complaint, police responding to Prater’s home Friday night Shedlock on the second floor at the top of the stairs. Medics rushed Shedlock — an honor-roll student who graduated from Coughlin High School in June — to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Prater claimed to have been in the bathroom when he heard a gunshot and came out to find Shedlock bleeding, the charges say.
A search of the home turned up a “large amount” of marijuana on Prater’s bedroom dresser, in a safe in the bedroom closet, as well as in a backpack in the attic, according to the complaint. The total amount of marijuana seized in the home was about 1,200 grams, according to police.
In addition to the marijuana, police found a pipe and two digital scales, police said.
They also found a bullet on the floor next to the bed, as well as a .40-caliber shell casing that was under a baseboard heater in the bedroom, police said.
During an initial interview at police headquarters, Prater admitted selling marijuana but denied having a gun, suggesting Shedlock had been killed in a home-invasion robbery. But he returned unannounced with his mother on Sunday morning with a different story, police said.
Prater then admitted he and Shedlock had been listening to rap music and handling a Smith & Wesson pistol Prater kept in a dresser drawer, according to the complaint.
Just prior to the shooting, Prater was manipulating a marijuana blunt with his left hand while holding the gun in his right — with his finger on the trigger, police said.
When the blunt began to unravel, Prater tried to fix it with his right hand, he told police. The gun then fired unexpectedly, hitting Shedlock in the chest, police said.
Shedlock fell into Prater and said, “Call 911!” the complaint says.
Prater dialed for help and ran out to his back yard as he spoke to a dispatcher, throwing the gun as far as he could, the charges say. He then returned to the home and stayed with Shedlock until police arrived.
Prater admitted he initially made up the story about the home-invasion, according to police.
Investigators charged Prater with involuntary manslaughter, drug trafficking, tampering with evidence and making a false report. Magisterial District Judge Thomas F. Malloy Sr. arraigned him on the charges Wednesday evening and set bail at $150,000.
Prater was taken to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing set for Dec. 12.