Rushville Republican

March 25, 2014

Felony charges filed in shooting death

By Brent Brown For the Rushville Republican
Rushville Republican

---- — GREENSBURG – Felony charges have been filed against a local man in the accidental shooting that killed a Greensburg teen.

Jason L. Forshee, 34, was arrested and charged Friday with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Class A felony, and dangerous control of a child, a Class C felony.

Craig A. Roberts, 13, was accidentally shot at his home on North Carver Street on the afternoon of March 11 when a sibling picked up an M4 assault rifle that authorities allege Forshee had left unattended. The sibling pointed the rifle at Craig in the living room of the home. The weapon discharged, and a bullet struck the teen in the chest. Craig died at Decatur County Memorial Hospital that evening.

Court documents state that Forshee told police he was cleaning the weapon and had removed the magazine. He was unaware a bullet was in the chamber. Forshee left the room briefly to talk to Craig’s mom, Amy Roberts. While out of the room, a 6-year-old picked up the weapon and accidentally fired it.

Forshee said he heard a “pop” while he was out of the room. Seeing Craig had been shot, Forshee applied pressure to the boy’s wound while the mother called 911.

Forshee told police he could not explain how the bullet was in the chamber. He was out of the room approximately 10 to 15 seconds, he said.

A short time before the shooting, Forshee had shown the rifle to a plumber at the home. The 6-year-old asked to see the weapon, and Forshee handed him the gun, according to court documents.

A child visiting the home shared by Amy Roberts, Jason Forshee, Craig and his two siblings March 11 told police that the 6-year-old had pointed the same rifle at her and another child through a laundry room window that day.

Interviews with a child and Craig’s mother indicated Forshee had previously let the 6-year-old hold the weapon.

Allowing the child to hold the firearm and failing “to make reasonable efforts to prevent the use of that firearm” constitutes the charge of dangerous control of a child, authorities said.

“We reviewed this investigation thoroughly and discussed our findings and opinions with Craig’s surviving parents,” Prosecutor Jim Rosenberry said in a press release Friday. “We believe that Craig’s tragic death deserves justice.”

Bill Meyerrose, detective with the Greensburg Police Department, said the shooting serves as a tragic reminder that gun safety is paramount.

“You have to lock up and secure your guns if you have little children in the house,” Meyerrose said.

Don’t leave guns unattended, he said, and always double-check to make sure the gun is unloaded when you clean it.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; brent.brown@greensburgdailynews.com