An 18-year-old handling an AR-15 rifle accidentally shot a 15-year-old boy, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
Tre’Shawn Moore-Thomas, of Milwaukee — who is on probation for spreading a threat of a school shooting on social media — has been charged with injury by negligent use of a dangerous weapon. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court today.
Moore-Thomas is alleged to have shot the 15-year-old on March 7 while he was at the boy’s apartment in the 4900 block of 38th Avenue. The teen was shot once in the lower abdomen, the bullet shattering his pelvis and damaging his intestine and liver.
According to the criminal complaint, Moore-Thomas had been at the apartment overnight with a friend and awake all night. At some point, Moore-Thomas told police, his friend had taken out the gun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and that when the friend put the gun down Moore-Thomas picked it up to look at it.
The complaint states Moore-Thomas told police he was holding the gun “and brought it up to his right arm ‘like an Army guy.’ The defendant stated he barely touched the trigger and the gun fired.” The bullet struck the 15-year-old, Moore-Thomas’s friend’s brother, who was standing in the kitchen.
Moore-Thomas told police that both his friend and the 15-year-old “are like brothers to him” and that the shooting was an accident.
The injured 15-year-old told police he believed Moore-Thomas “had accidentally discharged the weapon.”
According to the complaint, police were shown the AR-15, which was found hidden under a couch wrapped in a T-shirt. “The rifle had a magazine in it and was in fire position with a round in the chamber.”
At the time of the shooting, Moore-Thomas was on probation. He had been sentenced to two years probation last August after he had pleaded guilty to charges of using a computer message to threaten harm, disorderly conduct and obstructing police. Those charges were related to a social media threat of a school shooting that had led to Indian Trail High School and Academy being shut down for a day in February 2018.
In that case, Moore-Thomas, then 17, had shared on Snapchat a private message his friend Lozamar Alexis, Jr. had written about a shooting in the school. Both said they had been joking and Moore-Thomas had posted several follow up messages saying he had been joking, but Kenosha Unified School District closed the school for the day because of concerns from families.