Woodlawn teen-ager killed in apparent accidental shooting


A 15-year-old Woodlawn youth died yesterday in a shooting that police said appeared to be accidental.

Patrick Anthony Thomas was shot once in the lower right part of his back with a .357-caliber Magnum handgun in his family's apartment in the first block of Edith Court, said E. Jay Miller, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Mr. Miller said that Patrick's two teen-age brothers and a 17-year-old friend were in the apartment when the gun went off about 3:30 p.m. Police said the victim's 19-year-old brother, whose name was not divulged, was loading the gun when it discharged accidentally.

Mr. Miller said that the boy's parents apparently were not home at the time.

Patrick was taken by state police helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and died in surgery about two hours later.

Police officers had arrived at the apartment to find the boy lying in a hallway. The gun was found on a bedroom dresser, Mr. Miller said.

Police were told the victim and one or both of his brothers found the gun in a briefcase outside the apartment building, in the Chadwick Manor neighborhood near the Security Square Mall.

Police said the case will be turned over to a county grand jury to determine if criminal charges will be brought.

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