Teen charged with manslaughter in fatal, accidental shooting

SEATTLE -- Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has charged Tanielu Lotovaivai, 19, with first-degree manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of Jalon Bea, 17. Bea died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

On Friday, Lotovaivai was in a parked car with several other people and was passing around his .38 revolver. There were also people standing outside of the car, including Bea. Lotovaivai said he was "playing around" when he pointed the gun at Bea and pulled the trigger.

Lotovaivai apologized to witnesses and said he did not know the gun was loaded. He then helped put Bea in the car and accompanied him to the hospital. Once he got to the hospital, he fled, saying that he was afraid.

"This is a sad example of why you should never point a gun at anyone unless you intend to shoot," Lindquist said.

Lotovaivai turned himself in to authorities on Oct. 14 and was arrested.

Detectives said they believe that Lotovaivai attempted to unload the revolver, but failed to remove all the rounds from the handgun. Lotovaivai told detectives that this was the first gun he had owned.

Lotovaivai will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.