A Sun Prairie girl who told police she had never fired a gun before was charged Wednesday with first-degree reckless injury for firing a shot that hit a friend in the face last month at an apartment on Madison’s Near East Side.
In a criminal complaint, police said Kennedy L. DeNoble, 17, told an officer on April 20 that she was “swinging (the gun) around and pulling on the trigger” after her friend, identified in court documents as Gregory S. Hampton Jr., pulled it from under a pillow on his bed in his East Johnson Street apartment.
DeNoble told police she and her friends noticed the gun and wanted to see it. She didn’t think it was loaded, she said, because Hampton had removed the clip, the complaint states.
The last time she swung it around, DeNoble said, she pointed it toward Hampton and pulled the trigger, the complaint states. It went off, she said, which surprised her. Hampton sustained severe injuries to his mouth.
The 9mm handgun was found by police in the apartment with the magazine still inside it, the complaint states.
DeNoble is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.
According to the complaint:
DeNoble told Det. Richard Friday that “we were just playing with the like, the gun,” and that “the clip was in it all of a sudden.”
She told Friday she had known for a few days that Hampton had a gun, but she wasn’t familiar with firearms and was “testing it out.”
“I thought like, I was comfortable with it, like I was just playing with it,” she said. “We were all playing with it.”
A friend of DeNoble told police that DeNoble took some Snapchat videos of herself playing with the gun in which she was pointing it and pulling the trigger. Another friend said Hampton had shown off the gun before and that DeNoble had played with it.
Doctors at UW Hospital told police they recovered a bullet fragment from Hampton and said the shot caused considerable damage to his mouth, knocking out teeth and piercing his soft palate before more of the bullet possibly lodged in his hard palate.
As of May 6, when a probable cause affidavit was written, Hampton was on a ventilator and had had several surgeries, including a reconstruction of his upper and lower jaw.