A St. Paul man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy on Sunday.
Prosecutors allege that Matthew Demetrius Sims shot Justin Daniel Boecker while the two were socializing in the suspect's bedroom. Boecker died at the scene from a single gunshot wound to the armpit.
In a criminal complaint issued Wednesday, prosecutors charged the 21-year-old man with second-degree manslaughter, arguing that Sims caused Boecker's death by "culpable negligence which created an unreasonable risk" and that he "consciously took chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another."
The incident took place at a St. Paul residence owned by the suspect's mother. The mother told police that she heard a "bang" on Sunday afternoon and entered her son's bedroom while Boecker fell to the ground. She said Boecker and Sims had been friends and she did not hear any arguing before the incident.
Sims had left the scene by the time police arrived. Officers located him at his girlfriend's apartment in St. Paul on Monday.
According to the criminal complaint, Sims told police that the shooting was accidental and that he wishes he had died instead of his friend.
Sims told police that he, Boecker and another man went to Sims' house to drink and play video games on Sunday. The other man left and Boecker pulled out a silver revolver, Sims said.
Sims said that when he heard his mother coming towards the bedroom, Boecker threw the gun into Sims' lap, causing the gun to misfire when Sims grabbed it. Sims said he "freaked out," left the scene, and hid the gun because he was worried about getting in trouble for illegally owning a firearm, according to the complaint.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has determined that the path of the bullet through Boecker's body does not match the description given by Sims, according to a provisional autopsy report. The medical examiner classified the death as a probable homicide.
Sims has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. He cannot legally own a firearm due to a felony conviction two years ago for possession of a controlled substance.