By Chris Conte
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The family of a Hunter's Lane High School senior accidentally shot and killed by his best friend last week said they are heartbroken and are hoping to prevent other gun deaths from happening.
"Ain't nobody can tell me God said it was his time, no it was not. He was shot on the right side of the neck and it went through and shattered and broke his neck-- the bullet shattered the bones," explained William Blackwell's aunt Clemmie Greenlee.
Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said 18-year-old William Blackwell was shot just before 7 p.m. inside a home in the 200 block of Woodridge Drive on Monday, March 17.
Police said he was visiting the home along with 18-year-old Robert Goodner, of Williams Avenue.
Goodner and two residents at the home told police Blackwell was handling Goodner's .25 caliber pistol when Goodner pointed out the safety was off and asked for it back.
Goodner told police he mishandled the weapon after he got it back, and it discharged.
"Nobody in that house knew CPR so when he slumped over nobody knew what to do," Clemmie said.
Blackwell was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he passed away Sunday.
His family said they are hoping other people will see the 18-year-old's death as a lesson that guns can be dangerous no matter who is handling them.
"I've sat here twice with two murders in my family by guns because of lack of opportunity for them to be doing other things in the community," she added.
Blackwell was just months shy of graduating from high school.
Police said statements from everyone who was at the home were consistent with the shooting being accidental. No charges were placed.