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Last updated on Monday, January 2, 2012
(SHELBY COUNTY)(FOX 59) - A suspect in the fatal shooting of a teenager in Shelby County says he mistakenly opened fire on the teen and his family because he thought they might be coyotes threatening the livestock on his land.
The victim, 17 year old Brandon Spangler, was getting ready to play paintball with his father and three siblings when a gunshot struck him in the shoulder. Spangler died at the scene. Nobody else was hurt. Brandon Spangler is from Flushing, Michigan, but officers say he was visiting his father in Greenwood for holiday break.
Jason Bagley, 41, owns the land and officers say he admitted to firing the gun.
"My younger brother was involved," said Bret Bagley, who spoke to Fox59 News on Friday evening. "This has been a very long and emotional day. It's been a very tragic accident that has happened."Jason Bagley told investigators that he gave permission to the family to play paintball on his land because they are family friends, but he told investigators that he didn't have notification of their visit on Friday.
"He didn't realize that they were there at that moment," said Conservation Officer Scott Johnson. "He had had some problems in the past with some coyotes so from his home, he had moved out towards the wood line and he had seen some movement along the wood line and thought that it was a coyote. You know, he shot at it, thinking that, again, that it was a coyote and it was later determined to be a person."
When the Bagley family found out that person is also a close family friend, they said it made it even more tragic.
"Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family right now and because we're in this state of emotional flux I really don't wish to say any more today."
Though Jason Bagley is the suspect in the investigation, officer Johnson says the county prosecutor will ultimately decide whether or not charges are filed.
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