TALLMADGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Six friends, alcohol, marijuana, and a handgun – that’s the concoction that has left a 16-year-old with no brain activity and his friend in Ottawa County Jail.
Richey Usher, 18, has been charged with attempted manslaughter and felony firearms possession.
The victim, Brandon Kuiper, is in “very critical” condition at Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids.
Investigators say Usher, Kuiper, and four of their friends – all between the ages of 16 and 19 – were in the basement at a home on the 3900 block of Leonard Street in Tallmadge Township on Wednesday night.
FOX 17 sat down with Usher’s grandfather, who lives at the home. He said that his grandson is the one who shot his friend. Both of the boys attend New Options High School in Allendale.
The shot was fired from a .22 handgun that belonged to the grandfather, investigators say.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s investigation shows that the teens were under the influence at the time of the shooting.
“There’d been some alcohol use down there,” Lt. Mark Bennett said. “There’d been some use of some drugs – some marijuana. A very dangerous mixture, as you can imagine, and now you put the firearm in play, and now we have a tragic result.”
Bennett says the kids told investigators that this isn’t the first time they’ve engaged in this potentially deadly game.
“In the last few months, similar events have taken place at that same residence with what we believe to be the same gun,” he said.
Bennett says investigators are still looking into more details of the case.