Police: Alabama teenager killed during gunplay with friend

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A 15-year-old was fatally shot in Alabama while she and a friend were playing with a gun, authorities said.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Janiya Simmons, AL.com reported. Lt. Christian Clemons from the Bessemer Police Department told the news outlet that the shooting happened Monday night inside the home of the suspect’s family member.

Simmons and the suspect, an 18-year-old male, were friends, Clemons said. It appeared they were playing with the gun when it discharged and hit Simmons in the chest. The high school freshman from Birmingham was pronounced dead at a hospital less than an hour later.

Police said Tuesday afternoon that Raukeem Cunningham has been charged with manslaughter. He stayed at the scene and has cooperated with investigators. Cunningham was being held at the Bessemer City Jail awaiting transfer to to the Jefferson County Jail where his bond will be set at $30,000, according to the news outlet.