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Teenager wounded by stolen handgun, charge upgraded to intentional (UPDATED) Tell North Platte what you think
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Cristian M. Vera

A shooting Monday night sent a young North Platte man to Good Samaritan hospital in Kearney with a head wound and put another teen in jail.

Joshell Green was the 18-year-old victim.

Police said he was allegedly shot by his relative, Cristian Vera, 19, who was showing him a handgun after the two played some video games. Police initially thought the gun accidently went off, but by the next day, prosecutors charged Vera with intentionally and knowingly causing serious bodily harm to Green.

Also, police believe the handgun was stolen. Vera was charged Tuesday with possession of a stolen firearm, as well as use of a weapon to commit a felony and first degree assault. His bond was set at $250,000.

Police spokesman John Deal said officers responded to a 911 call at 8:43 p.m. in the 1100 block of West 11th St.

When they arrived, they gave medical attention to Green until an emergency medical team arrived, and when the ambulance left for the hospital, officers talked to several people at the scene who identified Vera.

Deal said Vera was found in an alley behind the home and a mid-size handgun was found nearby in the alley. Vera was taken into custody without incident.

Based on evidence and witness statements, investigators believe several people were playing video games inside the home when Vera produced a handgun to show to Green.

“During the process of showing off the handgun, Cristian negligently discharged one round that hit the victim in the head,” Deal said initially.

Deal said nothing in the initial investigation indicated that a disagreement or quarrel occurred. Deal said Vera and the victim are related to one another.

Green was flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Deal said. Police said Wednesday that Green's wound was serious and life-threatening.

Vera was initially charged with second-degree assault and use of a weapon and taken to the Lincoln County jail. Second-degree assault in Nebraska involves recklessness.

However, on Tuesday, the charge was increased to first-degree assault -- intentionally and knowingly causing serious bodily harm.

This report was updated late Tuesday afternoon and again Wednesday. - Editor 

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/7/2017
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