(01/03/13) - A Flint teenager has turned himself in, saying he accidentally shot and killed his best friend on New Year's Day.
The victim's mother identified him as 15-year-old Gianni Herron. He was found shot in the basement of a home in the 1700 block of North Chevrolet, on the city's northwest side.
We are not identifying the alleged shooter, because he is 16 and not charged.
He confessed during a news conference, called by Flint pastors, Thursday afternoon.
His family members and police were there too.
"We had his name and the detectives had been looking for him," says Police Chief Alvern Lock.
Lock and detectives watched from the back of the room inside the Joy Tabernacle Church. It's just a few blocks away from where the shooting happened.
"If this brings about that change then OK," Lock says.
He says he was contacted by a pastor and told the teen wanted to go public before turning himself in.
"If it gets the community involved with us then I'm for it," Lock says.
"If you do something there are consequences, but if you do something right the consequences are that much brighter," says the teen's attorney Glenn Cotton.
Pastor Robert McCathern says the press conference was called to shed light on violence and how the church will stay involved in 2013.
"To help young people to be able to bring resolution either accidents or perpetrations of violence," says McCathern.
The teen's mother, Sabrina Bartee, says her son and Herron were playing with guns in the basement of a relative's home.
"Playing with guns when they shouldn't of," says Bartee.
"It happened in my house," says the teen's aunt Cassandra Weaver. "We are all are sorry for what happened."
Family members say they do not know how the guns made it into the home.
"If I told you how simple it was to for him to get this gun or the guns that were involved in this things you'd be shocked," says Cotton.
Cotton says the gun and ammunition was purchased for less than $40.
The teen himself, through tears, said it was an accident. "I just want to say that everybody should turn in their guns," he says.
"He understands it was a stupid choice, but the thing that tugs at his heart is his best friend," says Cotton.
Pastors spoke with Herron's mother after the press conference and then she spoke to the media.
"If it's an accident, it's an accident," says his mother Angela McClendon. "But it's been days and I have not even been able to identify if this is my child."
Flint Police later confirmed Herron is the victim.
The alleged shooter will be held at the county's juvenile facility. Police will meet with prosecutors and prosecutors will determine if charges will be issued.
ABC12 Main Station