Witnesses say 18-year-old accidentally shot, killed 13-year-old in Lincolnton

Police: 13-year-old killed in Lincolnton shooting; 18-year-old charged with murder

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — An 18-year-old was charged with shooting and killing a 13-year-old in Lincolnton Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Officers were called to a home on Highland Drive just before 3:45 p.m., where they found Gabriel Teems shot in the living room. Officials tried to save Teems but he died at the scene.

Authorities said Matthew Eric Combs was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree murder. He is being held without bond.

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Channel 9′s Dave Faherty spoke with the victim’s brothers who said Combs was a close friend of the family and that they believe it was an accidental shooting.

One of the brothers said that immediately after the shooting, Combs said “he didn’t know the gun was loaded.” The victim’s brothers don’t believe he should be charged with murder.

“It was a huge accident. I’m not sure exactly what happened but it was really tragic and yesterday was a horrible day. I bet he’s taking it the hardest right now, especially sitting in jail," said T.J. Jones, the victim’s brother.

Family members planned to hold a vigil Thursday night at the home where the shooting happened.

At this point, police have not said how the shooting happened.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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