Grief counselors will be available at Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School in Daniels today and on Monday to help students cope with the loss of Matthew Regula, a 16-year-old classmate who was killed in an accidental shooting in Killingly on Tuesday, according to school superintendent Dr. Brian K. Mignault, Sr.
State police said Kyle Carney, 22, accidentally discharged a rifle at the home on Kenneth Drive where he was staying with Regula's girlfriend and her mother, shooting Regula in the face. Carney has been charged with manslaughter.
Police were called to the scene just after 7 p.m. on Tuesday Neighbors said they heard screams coming from the house after the gun went off.
Carney was pointing a rifle “in the direction” of Regula when it went off and hit the teen in the face, state police said.
Police found Regula unresponsive in an upstairs bedroom. An ambulance took him to Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam, where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.
Carney was taken into custody and charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree reckless endangerment.
He initially told police that he was carrying a rifle as he walked in the hallway by a bedroom and the gun accidentally discharged, according to the arraignment report. Then he noticed Regula, checked on the teen and called 911.
After being placed in a holding cell, Carney asked to speak with a detective and told officers he was not completely truthful during his first interview, according to the affidavit.
He then admitted that he was walking in the hallway, holding the rifle, and was moving his hand and fingers near the trigger and magazine when the round accidentally discharged, according to police.
Carney appeared in court on Wednesday, where he was accused of violating probation for the third time. Court officials said Carney has "underlying mental health and substance abuse" issues.
Bethany Alexander, a friend of Carney's, attended his arraignment and said Carney is a "good boy" and didn't believe the allegations against him at first.
According to Alexander, Carney's rifle was a recent purchsae.
"He sent me pictures. He was very excited," she explained. "He wanted to go shooting with me. It wasn't anything hostile."
Carney is being held on a judge-set bond of $500,000. He's due back in court Sept. 11.
Police are continuing to investigate, and the medical examiner will make an official ruling on the victim's cause of death. Police said they don't expect to make additional arrests.
Mignault, Sr., principal at Ellis Tech, grief counselors will be available at the school for students, faculty and staff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Monday.
Mignault said Regula was entering his senior year and was a member of the school's masonry shop.
Fundraisers have also been set up for the Regula family later this month.