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Georgia teen killed as friends shot at bottles; 17-year-old arrested

Candace Chrzan was set to graduate from Mount Zion High School in Carroll County, Georgia. She had already picked up her cap and gown, family and friends said.
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A 17-year-old boy was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a Georgia high school senior, authorities said Friday.

The arrest comes after Candace Chrzan, 17, was fatally shot Tuesday night in the backyard of a home in Mount Zion, about 55 miles from Atlanta.

A Carroll County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ashley Hulsey said that four people were at the home shooting bottles. Chrzan was in possession of a .22-caliber pistol when it jammed and she handed the weapon to the 17-year-old boy.

Hulsey said the teen was attempting to unjam it when the gun fired, striking Chrzan in the head. She died at the scene, police said.

The gun belonged to the family of the 17-year-old, the police spokesperson said.

A second teenager was also arrested after deputies were alerted to him allegedly making threats via Snapchat to harm and shoot the 17-year-old suspect.

The sheriff's office said the teen, who is 18 and was holding a gun in the Snapchat video, was charged with felony terroristic threats.

17-year-old Candace Chrzan
17-year-old Candace Chrzan.Carroll County Sheriff's Office

According to friends and family, Chrzan was preparing to graduate from Mount Zion High School in a few weeks and had already picked up her cap and gown.

"No family should ever have to bury a child at this age," family friend Tiffany Cantrell told NBC affiliate WXIA-TV. "As you can imagine, this is one of the hardest things all of us have ever went through."

Chrzan was raised by her grandparents, the outlet reported. Cantrell said Chrzan's grandfather "will not rest easy until justice is served for Candace."

"We don't believe that guns kill people. We believe people kill people and whether there was foul play involved or not in this situation, that gun ended up in the hands of a minor who should not have had possession of that weapon," Cantrell continued. "Somebody out there has to take responsibility and accountability for that."

Autum Parker, who worked with Chrzan at Dairy Queen, remembered her as the "sweetest person."

"She would make you just feel amazing about anything," she said. "Her giggle! It's the giggle. Anytime you'd hear the giggle you'd be like Candace is clocked in now!"