A Middleton woman was charged Friday with giving a gun to a 15-year-old girl who died after apparently shooting herself outside a Far East Side convenience store in June.
Sarae A. Barr, 18, was charged with intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a person under age 18, causing death, for the incident on June 13 in which Amariah Kimbrew, a Monona Grove High School sophomore, died after the gun went off while Kimbrew handled it, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.
Barr is scheduled to appear in court on the charge on Monday morning. The felony carries up to six years of combined prison and extended supervision.
The incident happened shortly before 11:45 p.m. in a car that was parked at one of the gas pumps at Kwik Trip, 4402 E. Buckeye Road.
Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said that police believe the shooting was accidental but are awaiting a final report from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office before making that determination.
According to court records, Barr had been in custody in late July, but was released after a signature bond was set following a court appearance on July 30.
According to the complaint:
Barr and Kimbrew were with two other people at the gas station after driving around. A girl who was in the Pontiac Bonneville told police that the driver, her boyfriend, had gone inside to pay for gas and when he got back into the car and started it, the gun went off.
The girl, who was seated in the front passenger seat, told police she saw Kimbrew, who was seated behind the driver’s seat in the Bonneville, take the gun from Barr’s bag. Barr was also in the back seat, on the passenger side.
The girl said that Kimbrew was messing around with the gun and her phone, doing “Snapchat (expletive)” before the gun went off. She said Barr started screaming, “She shot herself.”
In another interview with police later, the girl said that Kimbrew was looking at the gun before it went off. She said Kimbrew asked Barr to take a picture of her with the gun because her phone was off.
The girl said that after the gun went off, she and Barr, along with the girl’s boyfriend, went inside the store and told the clerk to call the police. After a moment Barr left the store, went back to the car and grabbed the gun.
The girl said Barr went to an area outside the store for a few seconds, then came back into the store empty-handed. A few minutes later, Barr left and took off running toward Stoughton Road, the girl said.
Police later found a Taurus 9mm handgun in a trash bin outside Kwik Trip.
Kimbrew, who was taken to UW Hospital, died two days later from a gunshot wound to the head. An autopsy found the bullet traveled from left to right, front to back, at an upward angle. The entry wound on the left side of Kimbrew’s head appeared to be a contact wound, Dane County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent Tranchida said.
The girl told police that she doesn’t know Barr well, only from doing “Uber rides” for gas money — not through the Uber phone app but by informally calling people for rides in exchange for money.
The girl said she first saw the gun about 5 p.m. that day when she picked up Barr, who took the gun from a black bin by her bed and put it into her bag.
While riding in the car, Barr’s bag was in the middle seat, the girl said, but Barr had the gun on her lap. Throughout the day, she said, she saw Barr unload and reload the gun.
During earlier “Uber rides,” the girl said, Barr was showing off the gun to other people, including a man who offered to buy it for $300.
Another witness, who had been in the car with Barr earlier, told police that Barr held the gun up at times so that she could take Snapchat photos of herself with it. Asked several times if the gun’s safety catch was on, Barr said it was, but another person in the car found that it was actually off and turned it on.