15-year-old boy accused of shooting 19-year-old woman in face with rifle

HICKORY, N.C. — A 15-year-old has been arrested after shooting another teenager in the face Monday night in Catawba County, according to deputies.

Authorities were called just before 9 p.m. to the shooting scene on 19th Avenue SW in Hickory.

They found a 19-year-old Nautica Brinkley who had been shot in the face. She was rushed to Atrium Health in Charlotte where she was listed in critical condition Tuesday morning.

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The sheriff's office received a 911 call saying Brinkley had shot herself, but deputies said they learned a 15-year-old boy was responsible.

"The statements made by the people who called 911 are inaccurate," Catawba County Sheriff's Capt. Aaron Turk said. "We have statements that refute those recordings, and we've corroborated the statements that we have."

Neighbors said after the shooting, the teen walked away from the home and started asking for a ride.

"He was very shaky and just like 'Can you take us here, can you take us here,'" neighbor Pamela Robinson said. "He just said she had shot herself."

Deputies arrested the teen, and he is now in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Justice. Due to his age, his name will not be released.

Warrants reveal the woman was shot in the mouth with a .22-caliber rifle.

Detectives have not said what led to the shooting but did recover the rifle.

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