Family of slain child wants gun owner held responsible for shooting death

PUYALLUP – The family of 13-year-old Eddie Holmes, who was accidentally shot and killed by his friend, believe the owner of the weapon should be prosecuted.

“Our law at this time is written to protect the rights of gun owners rather than the safety of our children,” said Eddie’s mother, Sandra Aponte Holmes.

Eddie was shot and killed last week at his friend’s house in Puyallup. A group of five boys were inside – and one of them pulled out his stepfather’s shotgun from behind the bedroom headboard. One of the boys pumped the shotgun and it fired directly into the chest of 13-year-old Eddie Holmes.

The boy who fired the weapon was arrested and he could be facing manslaughter charges.

But now the Holmes family places the blame of Eddie’s death directly in the hands of the shotgun’s owners.

“Because our state has yet to agree on locking and securing guns, I’m left with the unbearable task of planning the funeral of my 13-year-old son,” Sandra said.

The Holmes family said their new mission is to work with state lawmakers. The Holmes said new legislation should require gun owners to secure firearms so other children aren't accidentally killed.

Prosecutors said the boy who fired the shot was released from juvenile detention on Tuesday. Prosecutor Kevin Benton said his office is still gathering and reviewing evidence and charges against the suspect’s parents could come at a later date.

"It's more important to make the right decision than a quick decision," Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Linquist said. "After we've reviewed all the reports, and we have all the evidence, we will issue a decision."

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