Carroll County investigators call the shooting of a local teen a 'horrific accident,' as two families are heartbroken. The teen's friend was arrested and charged after a backyard target practice went wrong.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office asked for more gun security and gun safety in a Friday press conference. Officials cited 17-year-old Jeremy Gray who was able to get ahold of his grandfather's gun collection the day Candace Chrzan was killed. 

Gray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct, and possession of a gun under the age of 18.

All families involved have asked for privacy and prayers as they grieve the tragedy.

Friends tells CBS46 so many are still in disbelief. 

"Someone so good, so pure. She literally had the kindness of a toddler and it's honestly so sad we never get to see her again."

The local Dairy Queen now missing one of its sweetest reasons to visit for customers and employees, if you ask co-work Tori Gossett. 

"A lot of people cry when they come in[now] and on their way home." 

Co-workers turned friends affectionately describe the Mt. Zion High School senior as radiant and relentlessly loving to all. 

"The last thing she said was 'I'll see you guys tomorrow.'" Gossett paused, "then tomorrow came and everyone was crying."

Word of the shooting accident hit close knit Carroll County hard. The sheriff's office investigation revealed a group of friends were target practicing in a backyard around eight o'clock Tuesday night. When it was the teen's turn to shoot, the gun was jammed.

Police confirm, Chrzan asked friend Jeremy Gray to clear it but when he tried, the .22 caliber pistol went off. A bullet then hit her in the head. 

"Now two families are changed forever, and one life is gone forever," said sheriff's office spokesperson Ashley Husley.

 Words are few and far between for some, and many are still in shock. Gossett told CBS46 the family has since come to visit DQ, managing to stay strong through community prayer. 

"If you didn't know Candace, I think you missed out on something special." Gossett added, "We fully intend on keeping her spirit alive even though she's not with us anymore."

According to an obituary, there will be a funeral service for Chrzan Wednesday at Mt Zion High School's football stadium

A GoFundMe to help with expenses can be found here

A second person was arrested in the case for felony terroristic threats. According to investigators, Samuel Grier, 18, posted videos on social media claiming he would kill Gray for killing his cousin. The sheriff's office says they have not yet confirmed if Grier is indeed related to Chrzan. 

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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