A teenager suspected of fatally shooting a friend during a game of ‘Russian roulette’ posted a disturbing video after the incident where he reportedly said: “Bro, I just caught a body”.
Matthew Minkler’s body was found late Friday in an abandoned house in Henderson, Nev., roughly 16 miles from Las Vegas. He had been shot in the face with a .375-caliber revolver.
While the two suspects claim that the 17-year-old died during a game of Russian roulette, his mother Jamie Shanklin disputes what happened and believes he was deliberately targeted.
“We know this wasn’t Russian roulette”, she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “My kid was shot in the chin, like they were shutting him up.
She also claimed that one of the two suspects, Jaiden Caruso, 16, had a “beef” with her son, adding that he “pretended they were friends”.
Her comments came as police released the mugshots of the two suspects, Caruso, 16, and Kody Harlan, 17, while troubling new details about the crime scene were revealed.
Despite Shanklin’s version of events, police revealed that Harlan told them Caruso “never allowed the other participants to handle the firearm or pull the trigger themselves.”
According to the report, the words “F*** Matt” were spray-painted onto the closet door where his body was found.
Investigators also found several “self-made videos” at the scene of the crime. In one of the videos, Caruso reportedly speaks into the camera saying: “Bro, I just caught a body”.
In another video, someone can be heard in the background asking what to do with the body. While Caruso says nothing, he “calmly walks to the kitchen sink, wets his hands and begins to clean his shoes.”
He also replaced the shoes with about $300 taken from Minkler’s wallet, the report claims.
“He cared more about his shoes,” Shanklin said.
Henderson police officer Scott Williams said of the killing: “This one will stick with you, because it’s so sinister”.
Caruso, 16, is facing a charge of murder with a deadly weapon, while Harlan, 17, is facing charges of accessory to murder after the fact and destroying evidence, police confirmed. The pair are being charged as adults and are being held at Clark County Detention Center.
Minkler’s body was apparently dragged to a downstairs closet after he was shot dead in the kitchen, according to the probable cause arrest report for Caruso and Harlan.
It is unclear how the three boys knew one another.
Police said a homicide investigation began earlier on Friday after officers tried to pull over a stolen Mercedes that was being driven recklessly near East Sunset Road and Green Valley Parkway.
The vehicle drove through a red light and crashed at the intersection, at which point several teenagers attempted to flee.
When they were taken into custody, at least one of them revealed information about the homicide. Minkler's body was subsequently found in the abandoned house on Cool Lilac Avenue.
A GoFundMe set up by his cousin Leah Robbins-Golden has raised more than $7,500
She wrote on the website: “We are beyond devastated and hurting more than imaginable. We will never get to see that beautiful smile or get those loving Matt hugs that just brighten our days.”
In a post on Facebook, she added: “RIP my lil big cuz. I’ll never ever be the same without you. I love you more than anything Matthew.”