13-year-old dead, second teenager charged after shooting in Green Township home

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The teenager accused of killing his friend with a stolen revolver stood before a magistrate in a Hamilton County juvenile court Tuesday morning.

The 13-year-old boy was arraigned on a charge of reckless homicide for killing his friend, Hawken Hemmerle, also 13, shortly after 2 p.m. Monday.

The teen suspect, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, was also charged with violation of curfew, carrying a concealed weapon and theft.

Green Township police said the two 13-year-olds were playing with a Taurus .357 magnum revolver when it went off.

Hawken Hemmerle was pronounced dead at Mercy West Hospital after being shot once in the head. The teen suspect brought the gun to Hemmerle's house after police say he stole it Sunday night from another friend's grandfather.

The grandfather told police he kept the gun under his mattress and did not realize it was stolen until he heard reports of the shooting.

In a police report the teen suspect admitted to officers he took the gun during a sleepover.

A court appointed defense attorney requested the boy be sent home as his case advanced. The magistrate denied that request, citing "the serious nature of the allegations" against him.

"I'm just now finding out that a friend brought in the weapon and they were playing with it ...," said Constance Smart shortly after the shooting. "He didn't know that he … they didn't know the gun was loaded."

A woman in the house on Marie Avenue who identified herself as a nurse could be heard pleading with Hawken to stay with her in a 911 call released by Hamilton County emergency dispatch as she performed CPR.

After Tuesday's hearing, Tony Hemmerle was still processing the loss of his son.

"He took two lives. My son and his own," Tony Hemmerle said of the suspect. "I would say the nightmare of seeing the result is going to stick with him a long time."

The Hemmerle family announced a benefit to pay for their son's funeral services. It will be held Sunday, July 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Penny's Barber Salon on 3740 Glenmore Avenue. Proceeds will go to Bolton Lunsford Funeral Home at 3042 Harrison Ave.

Hawken's father was also seeking some lesson to come out of the tragic loss of his son.

"I guess the real message is, consider all guns loaded and the one you think isn't loaded is going to be the one that hurts you or your friend. Ok? So that's the real message," he said. "I think it's the lack of understanding of the power that they have when they are playing with something like that, it's not a toy."

Sgt. Chris House with the Green Township police echoed that lesson Monday.

"It's hard to say if it could have been prevented," Sgt. Chris House said. "Anytime you talk about gun safety you can't be safe enough. When you think you're being safe enough with your gun, you just need to make sure you're getting it locked up and you keep it out of the reach of anyone who may be able to get their hands on it, especially teenage kids."

Hawken Hemmerle  was a future Oak Hills High School student who identified himself as a skater on Facebook.

"I'm just so in shock I can't even talk," family friend Penny Cox said. "I can't express how I feel. I mean he was such a nice kid. I loved him to death."

Tom Holwadel lives near the home on Marie Avenue. His daughter is just a couple years younger than the boys.

"I told her if you're ever at a friends house and someone shows up with a gun, just leave," he said. "Just rid yourself. Just go away. Get yourself out of that situation because I don't want you anywhere around a kid with a gun who doesn't know how to properly use it."

The teenager charged in the incident is next scheduled to appear in court July 9 at 10 a.m.

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