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15-year-old boy killed when friend's gun goes off, police say

Dillon Carr
| Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, 12:33 p.m.

A 15-year-old boy from New Castle died early Saturday morning after being shot by a 19-year-old who now faces criminal charges including manslaughter.

New Castle police responded to the 400 block of Liberty Street and found Zach Mulford lying on the floor.

One of Mulford’s friends attempted CPR but Mulford died from his injury.

Police said Mulford and his friend went to a house to hang out with other friends. When they knocked on the door, Kyle Harris, 19, answered with a gun in his hand.

“When Harris realized who it was he lowered the weapon and let them into the residence,” read a New Castle Police Department news release issued on its Facebook Page.

Police said Harris removed the magazine and began to clear the weapon’s chamber when the gun fired. The bullet struck Mulford.

After fleeing the scene prior to police arrival, Harris turned himself in and provided a similar story as a witness at the scene, police said. He also showed officers the location of the weapon, which police later found was stolen.

New Castle police charged Harris with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and receiving stolen property on Dec. 8. The 19-year-old will face Magisterial District Judge Jennifer Nicholson for a preliminary hearing Dec. 19. Harris is being held on a $15,000 bond at the Lawrence County prison.

Tribune-Review news partner WPXI reported Saturday that Mulford’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.

Mulford’s mother, Stacy Mulford, held back tears as she spoke about him with WPXI, saying she just wanted people to know that Zach was a good kid.

He was one of seven children and a role model to his two younger siblings, she said. He was a student at Agora Cyber School who loved band and robotics, which he planned to pursue in college.

“He’d get so excited and he’d just be so happy because he was getting to do something with his hands and build it. He just loved it,” Stacy Mulford said. “This is hard. He had his future planned out and now he doesn’t have his future anymore.”

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, dcarr@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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