High school senior killed in accidental shooting at birthday party

CONCORD, N.C. — Police arrested a man early Monday morning after they said a gun accidentally went off and killed his acquaintance at a birthday party in Concord.

Officials said 24-year-old Brian Waddell has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The shooting happened just after 3 a.m. at a house on Brooknell Court, just off Pitts School Road and Concord Parkway.

When police got to the house, they learned 18-year-old Michael Stephens had been shot in a bedroom upstairs and taken to the hospital by people who were there at the time of the shooting.

Stephens later died from his injuries. Channel 9 learned there was a birthday celebration happening at the home.

“To hear about this is a real shock,” neighbor John Durham. “It’s very unusual for here.”

According to police, Waddell spoke with investigators after the shooting and indicated he and his friends were in an upstairs bedroom with a gun when it accidentally discharged, hitting Stephens.

Classmates of Stephens, Hailey Hawes, said the high school senior “was funny. He was adorable. He was always the center of attention.”

Waddell is being held at the Cabarrus County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He will face a judge on Tuesday.

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