TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – A Colbert County teen continues to cling to life on Monday after a weekend shooting. Investigators say Jesse Rainey was shot by a close friend early Saturday morning during a prank among several teenage boys.
Meanwhile, investigators are still reviewing the case. The Colbert County District Attorney said the case will be presented to the next grand jury to determine if charges will be filed.
Sheriff’s investigators say it was supposed to be a weekend outing, planned among nine teenage boys from Colbert Heights High School at a family camp in southern Colbert County.
Sheriff Ronnie May says several of the teens were going to stage a burglary and scare the other boys.
“Our victim went to the switch box which is right next to a closet where the young man was hiding, and from all indications through all the statements,” explained May. “Our victim shoved the closet door open, and there was a shot that struck our victim in the right side of the head.”
Sheriff May says after the shooting, the boys tried to call 911, but they could not tell dispatchers their exact location.
May says the boys then loaded Jesse Rainey into a truck and met emergency workers at a nearby store.
According to investigators, numerous handguns and long guns were at the home with the teenagers.
May said “I think that all of them are being straight-forward in what occurred, and again I just see it as something that went tragically wrong with the whole situation.”
Sheriff May says some of the teens’ parents knew that the boys had firearms at the camp, but other parents didn’t.
Monday morning, counselors were on standby at Colbert Heights School where all the teens at the house attended.
School administrators say it’s very important for students to have an avenue to express their feelings and ask questions.
Administrators described the mood at Colbert Heights High School as somber on Monday, with students concerned about Rainey.
Anthony Olivis, the school’s principal says first thing Monday, he called an assembly to go over what happened and offer support to students in need.
“Through the morning they have been allowed to check out of class and either go to the library or counselors office or even come to my office or something like that,” said Olivis. “If they just need to get something off their chest or they just need that moment to talk.”
Olivis says all nine teenage boys who were there when Rainey was shot attend Colbert Heights High School.
According to Olivis, the boys are all friends and most played football.
Rainey is a sophomore, and Olivis remembers him for his quiet demeanor around school.
“Jesse is quite a young character, and I mean that from the respect that he’s quiet but also you see him walking down the hall, it’s kind of as if he’s looking down at the floor looking for nickels. But, he’ll smile at you on the way by.”
Football games that were scheduled for Monday night have been postponed to allow teammates and students time to take in all that has happened.
Olivis says the Colbert Heights community and school are a tight-knit family, and they will lean on each other during this tough time for the school.
Jesse Rainey remains in critical condition this evening at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.