Two teens arrested in shooting of Hephzibah Middle School pupil

Two Hephzibah teenagers were arrested this evening after one fatally shot his 13-year-old friend while handling a firearm earlier today.

Raekwon Rhodes, of the 2400 Hampshire Crossing, was passing a loaded handgun back to the one of the suspects when it fired — striking him in the neck, according to Richmond County Sheriff’s Sgt. Blaise Dresser. The Hephzibah Middle School pupil ran to a neighbors home at 4385 Saxon Drive with the two suspects — 16-year-old and 13-year-old brothers — in an attempt to use the phone, Sgt. Dresser said. He died shortly after 3 p.m.

Police are still investigating whether the gun used in the shooting was stolen by the youths, who authorities have charged with burglary for a home break-in on Carpenter Avenue earlier this month.

“Whether or not the firearm that was used in the shooting was from the burglary, I’m a little fuzzy on that right now,” Sgt. Dresser said.

Authorities are not releasing the names of the two suspects because of their ages, but they said the 13-year-old had been taken to the Richmond County Youth Detention Center and faced involuntary manslaughter, burglary and stolen firearm charges. His 16-year-old brother was released to his parents with a charge of burglary, Sgt. Dresser said.

They have also arrested Martavias Marquis Nelson, 18, of 4385 Saxon Drive, on a charge of theft by receiving a stolen firearm, sheriff’s jail committals show. The youths ran to Mr. Nelson’s home after the shooting and police discovered a firearm stolen by the teenagers in his home.

Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Peebles said the victim was not involved in the break-ins. His body has been transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339

or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

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