19-year-old charged in connection to deadly shooting of Independence teen

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A 19-year-old man is facing charges in connection to the deadly shooting of 15-year-old Avonte George last weekend.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Elijah L. Soliz with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

According to court records, just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, Independence officers responded to a shooting in the 600 block of North Westwood Avenue.

When officers arrived on scene they saw several people standing in the front yard of a home. Officers went inside the home and found the 15-year-old victim, later identified as George.

Officers identified the people outside, including Soliz and a 14-year-old male.

George was taken to an area hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Soliz told police “We was messing with the gun and he got shot in the head.”

Soliz admitted that it was him who pulled the trigger, according to court documents. He told an officer “he was just holding the gun and it went off.”

A witness told police that Soliz had pointed the gun at the victim’s head for 30 to 45 seconds before the gun fired.

Prosecutors have requested a $10,000 bond.

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