JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Evidence against one of two 17-year-olds accused in the shooting death of their West Nassau High School classmate earlier this year shows the father of the teen accused of firing the fatal shot had warned his son to stop hanging around with the other teen.
Gaven Smith and Ashton Riggs are charged in the Feb. 24 death of 16-year-old Trent Fort.
Video of a two-hour-long interrogation of Smith by Nassau County detectives released by the State Attorney’s Office shows the teen said the incident started when the victim first struck him.
“As soon as he opened the door, he struck me in the face,” Smith can be heard saying.
Seconds later, a shot rings out.
“I got up and hauled ass, trying to get to drive me home. I said, ‘Please drive me home. Please drive me home. I just want to get out of here,'" Smith said.
A detective questioned that version of what happened.
“I want to be straight up honest with you: I don’t think you are giving us the whole scoop. Everybody’s stories are lining up on both sides except for yours.”
Smith claimed he was being robbed. The detectives didn’t believe him.
“What makes you think they will rob you?” Smith was asked. “Do they think you have money or drugs?”
According to the police report, Smith was in the back seat with someone who was buying drugs but Smith wasn’t given enough money and the other four teens tried to get in the car. Deputies wrote that one of them punched Smith and Smith fired a single shot, hitting Fort, who later died at a hospital.
Smith took with marijuana, cash and a wallet and ran away, giving everything but the wallet to Riggs.
The documents show deputies would later find the evidence in a backpack lying in the woods.
Smith and Riggs remain in jail awaiting trial. Smith is charged with third-degree murder. Riggs is charged as an accessory. Both are being prosecuted as adults.
Fort’s family is morning his young life lost to gun violence. His mother, Paige, said she is filing civil lawsuits against the parents of both teens involved in the shooting.