West Lake teen dead

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A 14-year-old Martinez boy accidentally shot himself in the head Saturday night while playing with a handgun, said Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.

Richard Mixon, 14, of Inverness Way in the West Lake subdivision, died a little after 10 p.m. from a gunshot wound to the head, Mr. Collins said. He is the son of area attorney John L. Mixon III and Mary Mixon.

The rising Lakeside High School ninth-grader and three friends were reportedly at his Martinez home while his parents were away, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris. The boys were playing with a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber handgun when it fired.

"I don't think the young man intentionally took his life," Mr. Collins said. "I think he was just fooling around with handgun, didn't know what he was doing and it backfired on him. It was just a tragic accident."

Mr. Collins said there is no evidence that drugs or alcohol were involved and that Richard had no history of mental illness or suicidal tendencies.

The incident is under investigation and no foul play is suspected, Capt. Morris said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta.


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