A teenager who shot his 15-year-old friend in the face with a double-barreled shotgun as he walked to school said weeks later in custody that he would “probably kill again,” a court has heard.
His victim, who had known him since elementary school, survived the attack but is partially paralyzed and his father told a court he will “never have the life he was meant to have.”
The victim, in a statement read to Ipswich Crown Court, said he had “tried to be a compassionate friend” to his attacker.
Police officers searching after the shooting at Friends Walk, Kesgrave, Suffolk
Suffolk Police officers at the cordon on Friends Walk, Kesgrave, Suffolk, near where the attack took place
The 16-year-old defendant shot the boy as he walked to school in Kesgrave, near Ipswich, Suffolk, on 7 September last year, on the first day since the first national lockdown.
He was found guilty, after a previous trial, of attempted murder.
Judge Martyn Levett, reading from a pre-sentence report, said the defendant made remarks during activity at a secure unit 20 days after the attack.
During a game of Jenga, as each youth removed each stone, he was asked ‘what are you going to do when you get out of here?’
‘The answer of (suspect) to this question was ‘probably kill again’.
‘Another youth then asked (the defendant) ‘are you going for murder?’
“Answer – ‘I don’t know, I don’t know if he’s dead’.”
The judge said an employee of the unit then told the youths not to talk about their violations.
“One of the other questions asked was ‘what would you like to do later in life?’,” the judge said, reading from the report.
“The defendant’s response was, ‘I’ll probably stay inside until I’m 40 and I’d like to be famous for chemical warfare’.”
The judge said he would consider whether the comments were “bravado” and asked for further evidence.
Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones QC, who read statements from medics, said the victim had undergone more than a dozen surgeries under general anesthesia, including one to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain.
She said someone should guide him as he walks “in case he becomes unstable,” and that he “needs adjustments for many tasks,” such as using cutlery.
His injuries have a “significant emotional impact on him,” Ms Karmy-Jones said.
The victim said he previously played musical instruments and enjoyed walking and going to the gym.
“I am no longer able to pursue these, my passions,” he said, adding, “He has ruined my career ambitions.”
The victim’s father told the court, “He will never have the life he was destined for, never the happiness he deserves.”
He described seeing his son lying on the floor bleeding and “missing half of his face.”
The 16-year-old defendant shot the boy as he walked to school on September 7 last year in Kesgrave, near Ipswich, Suffolk.
“I honestly believed there was no chance of survival,” he said.
“This image and the moments until the ambulance arrived will haunt me forever.”
He said he spent 75 days at his son’s bedside in hospital, worried about waking up in a “vegetative state.”
He continued, “How do you tell your son he was shot… by someone he knows?”
The victim’s mother described him as ‘a young man of such talent who has worked so hard during the lockdown’.
She said “our world was shattered” and described his attacker as “evil, hateful.”
The trial was told that the victim was shot less than 1.5 meters away.
The defendant said in evidence that he wanted to “scare” the boy who had caused him “humiliation and fear” and that he unintentionally fired the gun.
The defendant took his father’s car and drove to where he had waited for the boy for more than an hour before shooting him with his grandfather’s Beretta, prosecutor Karmy-Jones said.
He drove off and was arrested later that morning by armed police as he sat in the parked car 5 miles away in Ipswich, while officers described him as ‘smiling’.
The suspect was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger the boy’s life.
He previously confessed to possessing a shotgun with the intent to injure the boy.
Friday’s hearing was postponed to September 24 after the judge asked for more information about the defendant.