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Boys Playing With Stolen Gun Led To Murder Suicide

November 8, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Boys Playing With Stolen Gun Led To Murder Suicide Taylor Wheeler, 12 (left) and Dayton Fessell, 15 (right) - theepochtimes.com

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Almost one year ago, 12-year-old Taylor Wheeler and Dayton Gessell, 15, died of single gunshot wounds.

The two were at a friends house with other boys at the time of the tragic incident.

South Jordan police investigation determined that Taylor was shot by Dayton, who in turn died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

However, police at the time said the investigation into where the guns came from, what the boys were doing or whether the initial shooting was intentional were still being investigated.

Now, after months of piecing the events together, detectives have determined that the boys were playing with stolen guns, pointing them at each other when Dayton’s gun accidentally fired, killing Taylor, said South Jordan police officer Sam Winkler.

“We believe that Dayton intentionally shot himself as a result of the stressful situation of what just happened,” he told the Deseret News.

During the investigation, detectives were made aware that one of the other boys, a 16-year-old, stole three guns from a relative’s home in Sandy.

The boy was charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with aggravated assault for pointing the guns at the other juveniles, three counts of felony theft for stealing the weapons, and aggravated burglary related to the theft of the weapons, Winkler said.

Police did not release the name of another boy who was present at the time of the shooting. He is now  17.

According to police, the guns were reported stolen earlier that day.

After the incident took place, two of the boys immediately ran from the basement and flagged down an off-duty West Valley police officer who lives in the area, who was heading home at the time.

The adult homeowner and another juvenile were home, in a different part of the house at the time of the shootings.

Winkler said no charges were filed against the homeowner, “as she was unaware of what was transpiring in the basement of the house.”

What remains unclear for detectives, is what were the boys planning to do with the guns, aside from playing with them in the basement.

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