McKinney Teen Committed Suicide With Gun Stolen By Friend, Police Say
A McKinney teenager who shot himself last week was given a stolen gun by a friend to use as protection against alleged bullying, McKinney police believe.
Jordan Sharifi, 17, stole the handgun from a drawer in the home of the family he was staying with along with a box of ammunition on March 27 and gave it to Raymond Howell Jr., 14, according to police.
Howell committed suicide on April 2. Sharifi, who lived next door to Howell, found Howell's body, police say. He thought Howell was sleeping in the grass, he told police. When Sharifi rolled Howell over, he saw that his face was covered in blood. Fearful that he would get in trouble for giving Howell the gun, Sharifi took it from underneath Howell's body and tossed it in a nearby drainage tunnel.
Sharifi has been charged with evidence tampering, theft of a firearm and making a firearm accessible to a child. His bail is set at $100,000 for each charge.
Although Howell's family and friends have insisted that he was bullied at school -- family members told The Dallas Morning News that videos of Howell being attacked had been posted online -- McKinney ISD officials said in a written statement Monday they weren't notified of what was going on.
"Our policies and procedures include a process for investigation and intervention in cases of reported bullying. Often a relationship of trust between the student and a respected teacher or staff member is the most effective manner in which to report concerns. However, in order for us to address these issues, it is critical that information regarding potential bullying be shared with staff so that they can take the appropriate steps to address the negative behavior," Superintendent Rick McDaniel said.
An anti-bullying rally is scheduled for Thursday outside Howell's former school, McKinney Boyd High School.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.