16-year old Houston girl died due to accidental shooting, not drive-by

A 16-year old Houston girl who died after a shooting incident did so as a result of an accidental shooting by her boyfriend, not due to a drive-by shooting as police were originally lead to believe. The group of 13 to 17-year old kids present when Waddionne Griffin was shot had told police that a dark-colored vehicle pulled up and fired a shot as the teens were standing outside a house in the 4900 block of Alvin at around 12:55AM, said Houston Police Department homicide detective Fil Waters.

After further questioning one of the teens admitted to police that a member of the group had brought the gun to show off and it had accidentally discharged, hitting Griffin. Apparently the 16-year old, known as “Yannie” to her friends, asked her boyfriend who brought the gun to give it to her so she could put it away somewhere safe and make sure nobody gets hurt. The boy, who had no prior experience with firearms, tried to disarm the gun before handing it to her. Unfortunately as he was doing so the gun went off and a round struck Griffin in the arm, going through her chest and then her back. Tragically she died at Memorial Hermann Hospital – The Medical Center.

Charges of negligent homicide are expected against Griffin’s boyfriend, who is a juvenile. The boy’s parents were home at the time of the shooting but were asleep, and have said they do not allow guns in their home. Griffin’s boyfriend wrote an apology letter to the family and asked investigators to deliver it to them.

In Ms. Griffin’s tragic case, it appears only her boyfriend’s negligent actions led up to the shooting incident, and the boyfriend’s parents had no knowledge of the gun. Smith & Hassler‘s Houston personal injury attorneys have handled other somewhat similar cases in which injury or death claims have been made under homeowner’s insurance policies. In order for a homeowner’s insurance policy to cover injury or death resulting from a shooting incident, the homeowner has to have committed a negligent act that caused or contributed to the injury or death. For example: if a parent knowingly allowed two 8-year olds to shoot a BB gun in the backyard unsupervised, and one 8-year old shot the other in the eye, the incident would probably be covered under the parent’s homeowner’s policy because it would be an act of negligence to allow two 8-year olds to use a potentially deadly BB gun without adult supervision.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a homeowner, call the experienced Houston personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Smith & Hassler for a free consultation regarding your case.