"The bullet traveled through the wall that separated the living room from the kitchen and struck Stephanie in the head," the police said. "She fell to the floor right then and was deceased."
Trigger warning: The story contains details of accidental murder and suicide that might be distressing to some readers.
When a teenage boy picked up a gun while sitting in his living room, he did not imagine that somebody would accidentally lose his life within a few minutes. The Oklahoma teen, aged 16, was reportedly playing with the pistol in the living room while his mother was in the kitchen of their Del City home on Saturday, July 31. At around 11:22 pm, the gun accidentally fired a bullet that travelled through the wall and struck the unsuspecting mother right in the head.
The 36-year-old mother, Stephanie Rowshawne Jennings, lost her life right on the spot. "The bullet traveled through the wall that separated the living room from the kitchen and struck Stephanie in the head," said Major Bradley Rule with the Del City Police Department while speaking to PEOPLE. "She fell to the floor right then and was deceased."
When the teenager saw that he accidentally fired a shot, he immediately ran to the kitchen and saw his mother's body lying on the floor. He "saw what he did and ended up running outside to the street where he turned the gun on himself," Rule said.
Authorities are releasing new details about a double shooting that left two people dead in Del City.https://t.co/ilcj2Xk8ps— KTSM 9 News (@KTSMtv) August 4, 2021
First to make the 911 call was a neighbor, who heard the sound of a gunshot coming from the street. Soon, the police arrived and found the teenage boy in the street with a bullet in him while the gun was lying right next to him. Upon entering the house, they also saw the mother's lifeless body lying inside.
Although the boy was rushed to the OU Medical Center, it was too late for doctors to save him from the self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"It was terrible," Rule said. "I don't know if he was messing with it or playing with it. He wasn't cleaning it. It was a firearm in the house."
It was also reported that another witness was inside the house while the tragedy unfolded.
Okla. Teen Accidentally Killed Mother While Playing with Gun, Then Died by Suicide https://t.co/u8OZj4OtBY— People (@people) August 3, 2021
"We had somebody sitting in the living room when it happened," Rule said. "The eyewitness told us what happened and what the eyewitness told us lined up with the evidence on the scene. I don't think [the witness] knew his intention was to kill himself. I think he knew he was upset over what happened and they were trying to calm him down and then of course he shot himself."
Currently, the investigation is still going on, but Rule called the incident an "accident."
This sad story has been stuck in my head today (Teen Handling Gun Accidentally Kills Mother, Fatally Turns Gun On Himself https://t.co/SKfgOviTKK)— You're not being oppressed by having to #WearAMask (@angelialevy) August 3, 2021
"I'm sure he was so distraught over what he had done for whatever reason he decided to take his own life," the officer said. "The whole thing is terrible.."
Rule believed that the boy would have been completely distressed to see what his unintentional action did to his mother. "To be handling this firearm and then it goes off, I’m sure that was terrifying in and of itself," Rule said, as quoted by New York Post. "...But then to go around the corner and see the result of it, shooting your own mother, I can’t imagine what he felt."
Cover image source: UpperCut Images/Getty Images (Representative)