About 5:30 p.m. last Friday, the Villa Rica Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting on Cascade Trail in the Springwell subdivision, located off Liberty Road. Upon arrival, officers discovered 17-year-old Matias Dobbs of Villa Rica had been shot and killed.
According to VRPD Capt. Keith Shaddix, Dobbs and a 15-year-old girl were playing with a firearm belonging to the girl’s parents found in a closet at her home. The girl’s parents were not home at the time.
“They got the gun out, were looking at it and thought it was unloaded,” Shaddix said. “The victim actually unloaded the gun by taking out the magazine and gave it to his girlfriend, but they didn’t clear the round out of the chamber.”
While the girl was handling the gun it went off, killing Dobbs.
“After the shot, they were scared and they ran over to one of the witness’s house and told her mother, who came back, checked his pulse and called 911,” Shaddix said. “So, they did go and get help.”
The girl, whose name was not released due to her age, was charged with being a minor in possession of a firearm and involuntary manslaughter.
“It was an accidental shooting because she did not intend to shoot him,” Shaddix said. “The evidence found at the seen matches with the witnesses’ statements, so I’m pretty sure it happened the way they say it did. This is just a tragedy, a tragic event.”
Shaddix added that the incident could have been avoided if there was a trigger lock on the gun or if it had been in a locked gun safe. Trigger locks are available for free at the Villa Rica Police Department.
“There’s a reason we recommend using gun safes and gun locks,” he said. “There’s a reason why we give gun locks away at the police department to any parent who comes by to get them for their guns, to prevent this kind of thing from happening.”