A 19-year-old accused of killing a friend while they were getting high and playing with guns now faces a charge of second-degree murder, a Boone County assistant prosecutor said.
Cameron J. White was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Saturday death of Dajion A. Harris, 13. That charge was replaced Monday with the more serious charge, Sam Buffaloe said.
Harris was an Oakland Middle School student and counselors were on hand Monday to help students and staff upset by the slaying of the schoolmate.
White, of Columbia, is also charged with armed criminal action. He made an initial appearance by video from Boone County Jail before Associate Circuit Judge Tracy Gonzalez at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Columbia Police Officer Christopher Gilstrap wrote in charging documents that the shooting happened about 11:52 p.m. Saturday in the 4400 block of Rice Road. Police have not yet released the name of the victim, who died later at a local hospital.
White was later located at a residence in the 4500 block of Orchard Lance, according to Gilstrap's affidavit. When officers arrived at the apartment, he allegedly told them, “take me to prison, I’m never going to see my family again,” before standing and putting his hands behind his back.
A witness at the residence told Gilstrap that she asked White to tell her what happened, according to the affidavit. He allegedly told her that he and the victim were “getting high” when the victim showed him two guns.
“We were just playing with them and he (the victim) said ‘hey shoot me man’ and I just did, like that, and the gun just shot him, and I shot him in the head, and he’s dead,” White allegedly told the witness. “I know he’s dead and I’m going to jail.”
Columbia Public Schools issued a statement Sunday expressing grief over the shooting and notifying parents that help would be available.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of one of our students last night,” the statement issued by spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark read. “Our condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of our student.”
The district did not release the name of Harris before police did Monday afternoon.
"The school district is cooperating with law enforcement officials as they continue the investigation into the incident," the statement read.
The shooting happened about two blocks away from the scene where two people were killed with a firearm Sept. 23 near the intersection of Rice Road and Mckee Street.
No suspects have been named and police are still seeking information on the deaths of Antonio Lasha Houston, 36, and Danielle Beverly-Mae Marine, 33, both of Columbia.
It’s not clear if White has an attorney to speak on his behalf.