Police, witness differ in school bus shooting
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 10:49:06 AM EST
Police reports differ from a witness' account of a fatal shooting on a school bus in Homestead in Nov. 2012.
Jordyn Howe, 15, is charged in connection with the shooting death of Lourdes Guzman DeJesus. He is currently out on bond.
When officers arrived, they found 13-year-old Guzman DeJesus unresponsive and a bullet casing nearby, according to police reports. Howe then voluntarily gave officers a .40-caliber S&W Taurus pistol he had in his backpack.
Documents showed Howe brought the pistol to school for two months prior to the shooting, often allowing others to handle it.
Police have said since the shooting that Howe accidentally shot and killed Guzman DeJesus when he took the pistol out of his backpack and showed it off to others riding the bus.
In an exclusive interview with Local 10, a boy named "P.R." in police reports said he witnessed the shooting on Nov. 20, 2012. He said Howe brought the gun onto the bus but Guzman DeJesus shot herself, adding that she was handling the gun when it went off.
However, in interviews with police, P.R. said Howe took the gun away from Guzman DeJesus, pointed it at the floor, and fired.
"He pointed it at the floor and pulled the trigger?" asked police.
"Yeah," said P.R.
"And nothing happened?" said police.
"Yeah," said P.R.
P.R. then told police Howe pointed the gun at Guzman DeJesus, pulled the trigger, and shot her.
P.R. said he felt pressured by detectives before he was interviewed.
Another student who witnessed the shooting told police he never saw the gun.
"Did you see Jordyn with that gun today?" asked police.
"No," said the student.
"Did you hear anybody on the bus say who shot her?" said police.
"No, answered the student.
Laboratory tests found gunpowder residue on Howe, but not on two others, "B.S." and "P.R."
It's unclear if gunpowder residue was found on Guzman DeJesus. Police reports show no identifiable prints were found on the pistol, magazine, or rounds.
Documents also showed the bullet entered the girl's neck and exited her upper right back.
"The projectile path is from front to back, left to right and downward," says the medical examiner report.
Howe was sitting across the aisle from Guzman DeJesus and behind her, according to police diagrams. P.R. was sitting across the aisle from Howe and behind Lourdes.
Ron Book, the attorney representing Lourdes Guzman's family, said P.R.'s account to Local 10 was untrue.
"To go on the air, and try to tell this community that the young girl shot herself? There is not a scintilla of evidence that has been disclosed in discovery," Book said. "He duped this community. It's just wrong. It's offensive."
Howe appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Venzer on Wednesday morning. He is charged with manslaughter with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm, and possession of a firearm by a minor.
Howe remains under house arrest and strict orders only to go to school or church while out on bond.