Chief: Fatal shooting involved negligence

Police lights (Image courtesy MGN Online)

EAGLE RIVER (AP) -- An Eagle River teen accused of fatally shooting a friend is out of jail on a signature bond in a case the local police chief calls heartbreaking.

The 19-year-old has not yet been formally charged in the death of 20-year-old Connor Stephens. Eagle River Police Chief Mark Vander Bloomen tells WJFW -TV the shooting involved negligent handling of a firearm.

In court earlier this week, a Vilas County prosecutor told a judge the suspect believed the gun wasn't loaded when he was handling it. Vander Bloomen says basic gun safety wasn't followed in this case.

The victim from Conover was shot in the chest Sunday and was taken to Ascension Eagle River Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The suspect was booked into jail on a possible charge of homicide by negligent handling of a weapon.

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