Teen accidentally shoots best friend at park, police say

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — Police say a Paulding County teen remains hospitalized after his best friend accidentally shot him in the face.

Investigators told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen that the shot was fired inside a SUV that was parked in a parking lot at Sara Babb Park.

But detectives said the first call to 911 described an active shooter hiding in the woods causing investigators to evacuate the park.

"We were under the pavilion and they were telling everybody to leave the park. Get in the car and leave," park visitor Falandra Thompson said.

Dallas police said in an SUV parked in a gravel lot near the swimming pool, a 16-year old boy was shot in the face by who investigators describe as his best friend who is 18.


Detectives said it may have been an accident, maybe something else. The first caller to 911 said there was an active shooter somewhere in the woods nearby.

"Upon arriving, officers dispersed the crowd while we conducted a search for the active shooter," Dallas police Chief Joe Duvall told Petersen.

Duvall said the two teens had been target shooting earlier in the day and that the older boy had the gun in the truck when they came to the park.

"Apparently (it) belonged to his father. He had taken it from home earlier that day," Duvall said.

The chief told Petersen that a large group of children were in the pool during the incident. They were moved to a building on the property until officers gave the all clear.

"We heard the sirens. The police, the sheriff, Dallas (police) -- everyone came out," Thompson said.

Investigators have not released the names of the teens. Police say the older teen who fired the shot is being questioned.