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Man thought gun was unloaded before pulling trigger, killing high school senior

Hanna Cox
miami county shooting capehart avenue
Posted at 12:08 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 16:08:50-05

MIAMI COUNTY — An 18-year-old man charged in connection with the death of a high school student in Miami County told detectives he thought the gun was unloaded when he pulled the trigger, according to a court document.

About 10 minutes before 18-year-old Hanna Cox, of Bunker Hill, was fatally shot, she and Jeremiah Smith were sitting in Hanna's car, FaceTimeing with one of their mothers and "laughing and joking around," according to a probable cause affidavit. Cox was a senior at Maconaquah High School.

Smith told detectives Cox came to his house in the afternoon of Feb. 24 in a neighborhood near Grissom Air Reserve Base to return his headphones, according to the affidavit. He got in her car and was trying to fix a gun he said wasn't working.

Hanna Cox
Hanna Cox, an 18-year-old Maconaquah High School student, died Feb. 24 after she was shot just outside Grissom Air Reserve Base in The Estates at Eagle's Point.

Smith said he removed the magazine and thought the gun was unloaded, according to the affidavit. But when he pointed the gun at Cox, said "it didn't work" and pulled the trigger, Cox was struck.

A nurse who lives nearby where Cox was shot had just gotten home from work when someone came to the house to tell them Cox was shot, according to the affidavit. Unable to locate a pulse, the nurse started CPR before first responders were able to take over.

While officers were talking with people at the scene, two Black males and a Black female exited a residence with their hands up, according to the affidavit.

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Smith was charged Monday by prosecutors with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and pointing a firearm, according to online court records. An initial hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Public visitation for Cox's funeral will be held from noon to 3 p.m., followed by a service starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at Fuel Church, 2021 E. Markland Ave. in Kokomo, according to her obituary.

She will be buried at Springdale Cemetery in Bunker Hill.