Arrest After Marion Teens Shot
Updated: Friday, February 15 2013, 06:14 PM EST
Brian Perez said he had no idea what 16-year-old Abraham Valdez planned to do with the gun he sold him.
"Mr. Perez had apparently the day before the shooting occurred, sold the weapon that was involved in the shooting," said McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene.
Valdez was found shot in the head February 5th with the 9 millimeter gun in his hand and near death in an apparent suicide attempt. His close friend 18-year-old Daniel de Jesus-Umana Escobar was found dead, shot in the stomach with the same gun laying feet away.
"An apparent double shooting, that we feel like that was a result of a murder-suicide or a suicide-suicide," said Greene.
Valdez died in the hospital.
"This is certainly one of the questions that comes up - is how does a minor come to be in possession of a handgun?" said Greene of how the investigation led to Perez's Branch Street home in Marion.
Investigators say both young men talked about suicide to family and friends in the weeks before they were found shot in a remote area off of Robert Road, and now they say evidence reveals the two had a plan to die together.
"We know that there had been some discussion between the two individuals about something like this occuring," said Greene.
After valdez stopped by Perez's home to pick up the gun - paying under $200 - officials say family and friends knew he had it.
Perez says he was a friend of Valdez's older brother and that Valdez approached him about buying the gun. Perez said he had never used it, and so he sold it - not knowing Valdez was under age, and never dreaming what he was planning to do with it.
By Ashlea Surles
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