Special Needs Camp Counselor Charged with Manslaughter After One Student Kills Another with His Gun.
A horrible accident at a special needs summer camp has left one child dead, another child scarred for life and their counselor facing manslaughter charges.
35-year-old Gerard Brister (pictured), who was left in charge of a group of teens and young men with special needs, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct after a 21-year-old shot and killed a 17-year-old identified as Zachary Chambless. Police said more charges could be on the way for Brister.
The shooting also injured a 63-year-old bystander who reported that a bullet grazed him in the hand.
Brister is the founder and CEO of "My Buddy and Me,” a nonprofit that aims to “create a safe, happy, and loving environment" for people with special needs.
Police said a group of six young men were left in a vehicle alone outside a motorsports store when the shooting happened.
"This whole thing is very sensitive because the (man) who pulled the trigger has special needs, the victim has special needs," Sgt. Zachary Frommer said. "The majority of our witnesses were all special needs kids. It will be quite an undertaking to debrief the witnesses and interview all the kids involved."
No bond has been listed and no court date has been announced for Brister."
While we do realize that accidents happen, this whole ordeal is extremely unfortunate. Brister is facing charges, a child is dead and now, there are many more who won't have access to this program. The website information and the Facebook page for the organization have both been deleted and with them, their services to the community.