Court document: Man thought gun was empty before accidental shooting that killed Tucson teen

A 19-year-old man who authorities believe fatally shot a teenage boy Friday told deputies he thought the gun was empty when he pulled the trigger inside a home on the northwest side, according to court documents.

The man said he was in his upstairs bedroom clearing ammunition out of an AK-47 rifle in the home in the 8000 block of North Country Home Lane, north of Cortaro Farms Road, when the incident happened, according to a search warrant filed by the Sheriff’s Department in Pima County Superior Court.

He took out the rifle’s magazine and believed the gun was empty when he pulled the trigger, firing a single shot that struck Luis Angel Lopez Jr., 17, who was in the adjacent den area, the warrant said.

The man went to check on Lopez and tried to render aid, grabbing a towel to cover his wound, according to the warrant.

Deputies say they found Lopez on the couch with the towel behind his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies reported there were suspected explosive devices inside the home and called in the Pima Regional Bomb Squad and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to remove them.

Agents safely removed a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and four pipe bombs, the warrant said. They were recovered from a safe only the man had access to, according to the document.

Investigators said they found at least eight guns, including an AR-15, 12-gauge shotguns and a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun in a loft area and in a bedroom. Various amounts of ammunition were also removed the home.

Investigators were granted access from a judge to take possible footage from a video surveillance system in the den area, which may have recorded the entire incident, the warrant said.

The 19-year-old man is not facing any state charges at this time. The case remains under federal investigation led by the ATF.

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