Jaquarius Harper

Jaquarius Harper, who died of a gunshot wound Saturday morning, was a member of the Lake Cormorant High School football team and a senior linebacker on the squad.  

Bob Bakken|DTT

The Lake Cormorant community is dealing with the aftermath of an apparent accidental shooting death that took the life of a senior football player this past weekend. 

Jaquarius Harper, age 17, died Saturday morning at a residence in the 5200 block of Longwood Cove, part of the Twin Lakes subdivision.

Horn Lake Police information indicates a group of juveniles that Harper was with were playing with a loaded handgun when the firearm discharged, striking both Harper and another 17-year-old juvenile.

Officers were called to the residence at about 10:45 a.m., found Harper non-responsive and the other juvenile suffering a wound to his right arm.

That youngster was taken to Regional One in Memphis in non-critical condition.

According to the information released by the police department, initial evidence pointed to an accidental shooting. No charges have been filed and the identity of the second person shot would not be released.

Harper was a linebacker for the Lake Cormorant High School Gators football team that Friday night had been involved in a game against Grenada.

News of the youngster’s death first spread on social media over the weekend, but nothing was officially released until the police department report during the noon hour on Monday.

Lake Cormorant coach and athletic director Nick Nester Sunday gathered his team for a meeting before a candlelight service was held at the school’s football field.

Grief counselors were on hand at the high school Monday to assist with students and staff still reeling from the tragedy. A statement from the DeSoto County School District offered sympathy to the family while noting counseling and support would be available for students or staff in need.

A GoFundMe account online had been established to help cover funeral expenses, which as of early Monday afternoon had reached over $1,000 of a $5,000 goal.

Horn Lake Police spokeswoman Capt. Nikki Lanphere stated in the release the investigation was continuing but labeled the incident “a tragic accident.”

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.

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