18-year-old shot, killed by friend at party in Penn Hills, police say

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PENN HILLS, Pa. —

An 18-year-old man was killed after he loaded his friend's semi-automatic rifle and was accidentally shot when the owner tried to take it away from him in Penn Hills early Thursday morning.

According to Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton, the gun owner, the dead man, and at least three other guests were looking at weapons when Nathan Hurrell loaded the gun.

According to police paperwork, 21-year-old Damien Franklin told Hurrell to stop pointing a gun at him and said, ‘What would you do if someone had a strap pointed at your face?’

Burton said the gun fired, hitting Hurrell in the head, when Franklin tried to take it from him.

Burton said Franklin was being questioned by Allegheny County detectives. Channel 11’s Brandon Hudson reported Franklin will be charged with homicide.

“All I can say is that I’m sorry to Nathan’s family. I’m so sorry,” Franklin said.

Burton said there were empty beer cans in the Springwood Avenue house, but police aren't sure if alcohol played a role in the shooting about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

Hudson spoke to Hurrell’s family on the phone Thursday. They said he just graduated high school and was preparing for college. They described him as a good kid.