A tragic game between pals cost a teenage boy in California his life over the weekend, and now his 21-year-old friend faces murder charges.
The young men were messing around with a bullet-proof vest on a bike trail in Fair Oaks. Miguel Henry Martinez, 19, of Citrus Heights was encouraged to put it on, said his brother Tom Cline, according to KXTV. Elijah Lambert, 21, then pointed a gun at Martinez’s chest, Cline told police, and shot the teen, believing he would be protected by the vest.
“The bullet penetrated the top of his vest,” Cline said. “My brother was hit. My brother said he couldn't breathe.”
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t given out details about the incident, simply calling it an “unintentional killing.”
According to manufacturers' website, the term “bulletproof” is a misnomer. Protective vests are more accurately “bullet resistant” – with some providing greater, but not complete, protection.
While one of Martinez’s friends ran to get help, the other two carried the injured teen toward the road, Cline said, but he died soon afterward.
Lambert was taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Department on homicide charges on Saturday and is scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday, Newswire reported.
Cline didn’t know where the gun or the bulletproof vest may have come from.
“My brother didn’t deserve this death,” Cline told reporters. “I want everybody to know Miguel Henry Martinez was a good boy.”
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