LAS VEGAS — Fourteen-year-old Del’Vonte Jenkins’ shooting death in December 2014 was determined to have been accidental, after police investigated what the Clark County coroner at first ruled a homicide.
The eighth-grader was shot in the chest while reaching for a .380-caliber handgun in the hands of a 16-year-old at a home with several other teens not far from the College of Southern Nevada campus, according to a police report.
Las Vegas police officer Michael Rodriguez, a department spokesman, said investigators determined the death was an accident.
The case was one of three fatal shootings involving children in Nevada included in a study by The Associated Press and the USA TODAY Network.
Nevada ranked near the bottom in a comparison of states and the District of Columbia, at 1.04 incidents per million people. That was well below the national average of 3.39 incidents per million.
The children were among at least 320 minors ages 17 and under, and 30 adults, who died nationwide in more than 1,000 incidents covering a 2½-year span identified by the nonpartisan Gun Violence Archive.
The two other Nevada cases led to criminal charges:
— Arely Arzate-Lujan, 17, was shot and killed in October 2015 at a home in North Las Vegas. Her boyfriend is due for trial next March after pleading not guilty to murder and stolen weapon charges.
His attorney, Kristina Wildeveld, says the shooting was an accident.
She said her client, now 17, loved Arzate-Lujan, wouldn’t have intentionally hurt her, and didn’t know there was a bullet in the gun.
— The father of 12-year-old Sincere Manuel is facing criminal charges after the boy’s fatal shooting last February in Las Vegas. The coroner ruled the death a suicide.
Olin Francis Manuel, 32, was on probation following prior felony convictions for attempted theft in Nevada and drug possession in Arizona, and was prohibited from possessing a gun, according to court records.
He pleaded guilty in August in federal court in Las Vegas to being a felon in possession of a weapon, and was being held on a probation violation at High Desert State Prison outside Las Vegas.
The father pleaded not guilty this month in state court to felony charges of child endangerment and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. His trial is scheduled in November.
His lawyer, James Ruggeroli, declined to comment about the case.