SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — Friends are remembering the 19-year-old killed in what Springdale Police are calling an accidental shooting.
The fact that I knew him and I was friends with him it hurts that this happened.Jason Shepherd
According to Lieutenant Jeff Taylor with the Springdale Police Department, just before 2 p.m. on Friday (October 26) they were dispatched to a home on Eaglecrest Circle in Springdale.
Lt. Taylor said when they arrived they found 19-year-old Pedro Pena with a gunshot wound to the neck.
He was transported to a local hospital where he died.
Pena was shot by 18-year-old Fernando Ortiz who was playing with a stolen firearm.
Lt. Taylor said the shooting was a result of recklessly playing with a loaded gun.
Any firearm whether it be a handgun or rifle or a shotgun or anything like that they are not to be played with they are deadly weapons and they should be respected and treated as such.Lt. Jeff Taylor, Springdale Police Department
After this tragic event, friends like Jason Shepherd, who are close to both Pena and Ortiz, are remembering a life taken too soon.
“It’s traumatic what happened but bad things happen to good people,” Shepherd said. “It’s on both sides it’s not just Pedro (Pena) or Fernando (Ortiz) it’s both of them.”
Shepherd met Pena and Ortiz in class at the Archer Learning Center in Springdale.
“He (Pena) was just one of those people (who would) come up and talk to you,” he said. “He would make friends with you like nobody else would him and Fernando (Ortiz) both.”
Shepherd wants Pena to be remembered as the type of person who would take the shirt off his back in order to help someone else.
“He was someone you could always talk to and someone who always had your back,” he said.
He was always there no matter what the situation was.Jason Shepherd
Shepherd said he is praying for Pena’s family and Ortiz.
“I know Fernando (Ortiz) would never do anything like that out of spite,” he said. “There wasn’t a day you would see them without each other it was kind of like brotherly love.”
Both Springdale Police and Shepherd hope this tragic event will be a lesson to others to not play with deadly weapons.
“This wasn’t an intentional act this wasn’t somebody going out and robbing somebody or assaulting somebody,” Lt. Taylor said. “This was an act of people playing with a firearm that is not a toy.”
“I just hope that other people can learn from this and what happened,” Shepherd said.
The investigation into the shootings is still ongoing, according to Lt. Taylor.
Stay with KNWA News as we continue to learn more.