Published June 13, 2012
MCALLEN, Texas – A drunk 17-year-old died in southern Texas after a bullet he shot at a butane tank ricocheted back and hit him in the head.
Israel Torres fired the shot with a semi-automatic handgun in the backyard of a home near McAllen, Texas, shortly before 11:30pm Monday night, The Monitor reported.
"It was just an accident under the influence of alcohol," Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said Tuesday.
Trevino said deputies found Torres' father and his two sons had been drinking heavily prior to the incident.
"All three are pretty drunk when someone pulls a .380-caliber, semi-automatic [handgun] and shoots it into the backyard," Trevino said. "The 17-year-old gets it and tells his girlfriend, 'Here, look, pull the trigger.'"
When the teen's girlfriend refused to handle the gun, Torres pulled out the gun's clip and turned to a butane tank, the Monitor reported.
"He fires one time and shoots himself in the head," Trevino said, adding that Torres' family was living in the U.S. illegally.
Deputies are investigating whether the father bore any criminal responsibility in the death of his son.
McAllen is located 250 miles south of San Antonio, near the Mexican border.