The death of Brandon Crawford, fifteen, offers yet another cautionary tale about guns. If the .22 caliber revolver hadn't been present, reports suggest he'd still be alive. But the fellow fifteen-year-old who allegedly shot him to death told authorities he carried a weapon with him "for protection." Photos and additional details below.
According to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, the incident took place just after 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 16, in Clifton, a suburb of Grand Junction, on Colorado's Western Slope. The residence in question is on the 3200 block of East Rood Circle, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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Deputies arrived to find a teenage victim later identified as Crawford. The Mesa County Coroner's Office lists his cause of death as a "gunshot wound of the chest." Days later, another fifteen-year-old, identified as Landon Sardi, was arrested in the shooting, which the sheriff's office described in a release as lacking "malicious intent."
Crawford's Facebook page portrays him as a typical teenager. His profile pic is a Tech N9ne album cover and his educational institution is listed as "The University of Smoking Weed" -- and Sardi's proclivities as shared on his own Facebook page appear similar. He includes no portraits of himself but has posted about the online game Pot Farm -- and here's a previous profile pic: What happened on Sunday afternoon? According to police documents accessed by the Denver Post, a group of teenagers had gathered at the home to smoke and drink -- alcohol and marijuana "paraphernalia" were found on site -- when the shooting took place. Afterward, those in attendance carried Crawford downstairs to make it easier for emergency responders to reach him and tried performing CPR, to no avail.
One teenage girl on hand was reportedly sobbing so heavily that she could barely speak to investigators. Sardi, meanwhile, told authorities "he was carrying the handgun for protection," the Post notes.
One of Crawford's relatives has shared this remembrance graphic of the teen:
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Meanwhile, the MCSO reveals that Sardi was booked into the Grand Mesa Youth Detention Facility "on one charge of manslaughter, a class 4 felony, and two additional misdemeanor charges."
Our condolences to Brandon Crawford's friends, family and loved ones.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.