ST. PARIS, Ohio – Steven Zorn had put the pen gun to his head and clicked before, apparently thinking it was jammed and would not work.
But on the third try, the tiny silver pistol went off as the 22-year-old budding rap artist was drinking to celebrate an impending record deal. He died at a hospital.
The Nov. 18 shooting at Zorn's home in this rural village of 2,000, about 50 miles northeast of Dayton, is believed to have been accidental, according to family, friends and law enforcement officials.
"Steven had a career and his dreams all ahead of him," said Zorn's mother, Lisa McCoy-Horn. She said she wants lawmakers to outlaw pen guns, which are small-caliber, single-shot weapons that resemble pens.
Zorn had taught himself to play the keyboard and record tracts using inexpensive software on his home computer. He tracked down rap artist Miracle in Georgia and urged the crunk artist to listen to a CD of his original recordings.
"The lyrical content was awesome," Miracle said. "He had a lot of skill. I took a liking to him, took him under my wing."