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Juvenile court finds charges to be true in deadly shooting at JW Marriott

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 21:58:38-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The 17-year-old boy who shot and killed Karla Vasquez, 16, inside the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis has been entered into a true finding by the juvenile court.

On Nov. 20, 2020, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers found Vasquez dead in a room on the hotel's 20th floor. Christian Chinchilla, Vasquez's brother, told WRTV in November he heard the shooting was an accident, but he doesn't think the boy should've had a gun in the hotel room in the first place.

When the court enters a juvenile into a true finding, it means the court has found the charges against the child to be true. In this case, the court found the charge of reckless homicide to be true.

“At only sixteen years old, Ms. Vasquez’ life was tragically cut short from a reckless act of gun violence,” Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a press release. “We continue to see the devastating consequences of unintentional shootings, particularly when young people access firearms that they are not prepared to handle. A greater understanding and adoption of gun safety measures can prevent these tragedies. ”

Chinchilla told WRTV Vasquez was at the hotel for a small part of her friend's 21st birthday.

According to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, witnesses said Vasquez was asleep when the shooting happened and there wasn't an argument or disturbance before the shooting.

Karla Vasquez, 16, was shot and killed on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

"Karla was a smart girl with goals, always carried herself right with a beautiful heart," her friend Alison Gonzalez told WRTV in November. "Our baby she didn’t get to walk across the stage, get married, have a baby, nothing."