HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The teenage suspect in the December shooting death of 15-year-old Bradley Hulett was released from jail late Wednesday night, online jail records show.
Christopher Bevan, 15, was booked into a Hillsborough County Jail shortly before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night. He was released 30 minutes later on a $15,000 bond.
Bevan was arrested Friday and charged with manslaughter with a firearm in Hulett’s death, which occurred at the home of Tampa Police Officer Edwin Perez in Lithia. Bevan will be prosecuted as an adult.
According to a statement from the office of Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, the teenager mistakenly believed the gun was unloaded and did not mean to shoot his friend.
The day of the shooting, Dec. 13, the teens were with two friends at the officer’s home in the FishHawk Ranch neighborhood of Lithia. According to an affidavit, the officer’s son picked the lock to the master bedroom in order to use the restroom and discovered the gun in a holster.
The officer’s son said he assumed the gun was unloaded as there was no magazine in the gun when they found it, the report said.
According to an arrest report, one of the boys said, “Let’s go scare Bradley,” after removing the gun from the holster.
Then Bevan grabbed the gun and started “waving it around,” and asked “What if it’s loaded?”, according to the teen.
One of the teens heard Hulett say, “Oh, that’s real” before Bevan pulled the trigger.
Hulett was pronounced deceased at Brandon Memorial Hospital. His death was ruled a homicide.
Warren said last Friday that Perez would not be charged for violating the state’s safe storage law.
“When he left that house that morning and locked that bedroom door Edwin Perez believed that that particular firearm was fully, fully unloaded,” the officer’s attorney, Rick Escobar said.
But Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that the officer’s failure to properly secure his gun contributed to Hulett’s death.
“I believe that the gun owner who failed to properly store his firearm that evening is even more responsible than an inquisitive teenager,” Chronister told 8 On Your Side Tuesday.
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