For the first time, the mother of a teen who police said stole a gun and shot himself to death in an Orange City public library told Local 6 that she has regrets.
Maria Gaultier said she knew her son had been getting into trouble. So she said, each day she checked her son's backpack before school. But the day he died, she didn't.
Gaultier choked back tears as she said in Spanish that her son, Yaredh, was her life. This will be her first Christmas without her son after the 16-year-old shot himself in the face with a stolen gun.
"It's upsetting. That gun killed my friend," said the teen's friend, Ajai Blakely, who was at the library when the gun accidentally went off. "I was standing right next to him and the next thing you know, the gun went off. That's when he fell over to the side and the blood started rushing and the gun fell on the floor. I just started freaking out."
Investigators said Gaultier stole the loaded gun from an unlocked car. Police still might charge Blakely as an accomplice in the gun theft, but he denies taking part. In fact, Blakely said he warned his friend to leave the gun alone from the start.
"When he pulled it out, I told him to stop playing with it," said Blakely.
Now, he says his life has changed and he lives with one regret -- that he never told this friend's mom that her son had a gun.
Blakely said Gaultier brought the gun to school and police said he even fired practice shots in the woods, but nobody ever caught him with it.
"Something else could have happened," said Gaultier, who admits her son was wrong to steal the gun but worries what else might have happened. "My son could have hurt somebody else instead of hurting himself and that's why I'm more worried and upset. They should have had the gun in safe-keeping."
The couple who police said owned the gun will not be held responsible for it being left unattended, said Orange City police.