Teen asks to see shotgun in store, kills self

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A 19-year-old man shot and killed himself in a Lake City pawn shop Wednesday morning after asking to look at a shotgun from the display, according to the Lake City Police Department.

Officers said the man, whose identity was not immediately released and is from Michigan, went into American Pawn Brokers Inc. at 905 S.W. Main Blvd. about 10:05 a.m.

After asking to look at a shotgun, an employee handed him one unloaded and the teen began looking it over as if to purchase, police said.

They said he reached into his pocket, retrieved a shotgun shell and loaded the shotgun. Police said as he was backing away from the counter and the employee, he shot himself in the head.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time later.

"They have not given us any indications of any wild sayings or anything strange that he did. He just acted like a normal customer," Officer Craig Strickland said.

Police said the teen had been at the pawn shop the day before asking to see a shotgun but couldn't because he didn't have an ID. This time he had one, so the clerk handed him the unloaded weapon, never expecting the teen to load the weapon right in front of him.

"(The clerk) drew his firearm to point it at him 'cause he didn't know if he was going to point the shotgun at him or exactly what was going to go on," Strickland said. "Maybe be thought he was going to get robbed, and he just told him to 'put the gun down, put the gun down.' The next thing he knows, the young man stuck it up underneath his head."

Police said they were working to notify the teen's family.

They said he had a driver's license from Michigan, and they found his car parked at a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen less than a mile away from the pawn shop.

Jill Jackson, who works in a barber shop just a few doors down and knows the pawn shop owners, said in a situation like this, her heart goes out not only to the people she knows, but to the young man she didn't.

"It's just sad. At 19, you feel like they have -- you have so much more to live for," Jackson said. "So it's sad when you hear of a 19-year-old kid taking their own life."