ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Was it an accident or intentional? New details were revealed about the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl in Atlantic City during the suspect’s detention hearing Wednesday.
A young life was lost too soon and authorities say it was all over horsing around with a gun.
Eighteen-year-old Nahquil Lovest, from Pleasantville, is being charged with murder after admittedly shooting 15-year-old Naimah Bell in the head while playing something like Russian Roulette with a loaded gun.
“He acknowledged that he was playing with the gun, he acknowledged that he unloaded the gun. He believed that he had taken all of the bullets out. He had pointed the gun around and was clicking it and it went off,” defense attorney Alex Settle said.
Early in the morning of July 25, police responded to a recently vacated apartment near the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City. Investigators say six people, most believed to be teenagers, were hanging out and playing with a handgun.
Authorities say Lovest took some, but not all, of the bullets out and pointed the gun at Bell and pulled the trigger.
“What we have is a defendant that was well aware that the gun was loaded. In fact, he was playing with it,” said Seth Levy, the chief assistant for the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.
While the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing was only to establish probable cause to determine if Lovest should remain in jail, we learned what some of the witnesses in the room told police, and how they’ll testify should the case go to trial.
“After Lovest shot and killed her, he was crying and saying he didn’t mean to do it,” Settle said.
“And all the witnesses in the world who say it was an accident because he wasn’t mad at her or didn’t steal from her, doesn’t change the fact that he knew there was a bullet in the gun when he pulled the trigger against her head,” Levy said.
On Wednesday, the judge ruled Lovest should remain in jail pending a trial. Both his family and Bell’s family were in the courtroom. Both declined to speak after the hearing.