Neighbors remember McDonough 14-year-old killed in accidental shooting

MCDONOUGH, Ga. - Friends and family are mourning the death of a McDonough teen who reportedly died following a shooting accident.

"I come up to the fence and looked, and he was just laying down like he was asleep," the teen's neighbor Buddy Echols told FOX 5 reporter Deidra Dukes.

Echols made the grim discovery after hearing a gunshot coming from the woods behind his McDonough residence Sunday afternoon. His neighbor had been shot.

"And one boy was hollering He's bleeding out. He's bleeding out,'" Echols recalled.

Residents who spoke to FOX 5 said they have been in contact with the family since the tragedy happened. They were able to identify the victim as 14-year old Darien McNeill.

He attended McDonough High School.

Students and staff learned of his death Monday. The school district issued a written statement saying in part, "Our heartfelt sympathy is with his family and loved ones. We are working closely with our students and staff to provide support as they go through the grieving process."

Echols lives across the street from McNeill's family.

"He was really a good boy. It's not the same around here without him."Echols said. "He was actually a good friend of mine. I taught him how to change a bicycle tire. I let him use my lawnmower to cut grass and make money."

Residents in the close-knit community are devastated. Neighborhood children held a candlelight vigil in the cul-de-sac near the victim's home Sunday night.

Police are releasing few details about the investigation, but Echols said two teens who were with the victim reportedly told officers McNeill accidentally shot himself.

"If he shot himself, they had to be playing with a gun or whatever," Echols said, "and I understood from talk that they had the magazine out, but of course, there was one in the chamber."

Police haven't said if anyone will be charged in connection to the teen's death.