HCSO reviewing possible charges in shooting incident that killed a 14-year-old

Mason Butler, 14, was killed in a shooting last weekend, and his family in Ruskin is mourning.

The incident is still under investigation, but the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office believes it was an accident.

Mason’s family tells FOX 13 that photos of the Shields Middle School student depict an adolescent trying to figure himself out, an active teen who didn’t always enjoy school but was regarded as intelligent by his family.

“He taught me a lot,” Felicia Garcia, his aunt, said. “Especially about the importance of understanding people before making any sort of assumption or judgment.”

Deputies were summoned to a home in Ruskin’s 900 block of Seminole Sky Drive about 4:30 p.m. last Saturday. They discovered Mason had been shot. He was pronounced deceased at a local hospital.

Mason’s family suspects that someone he considered a friend, but had been cautioned to avoid, may have accidentally fired. They are pleading with anyone who has a firearm to keep it out of reach of children.

“It’s just so important that everybody understands that this can very much happen to them,” Garcia added. “And it’s not just some story that you see in the news or on social media, and you kind of brush off and go on with your life.”

Mason had told his family that he was going to help another homeowner with some furniture and would be back in 20 minutes.

“You really don’t know when your last moment is,” explained Garcia. “What was supposed to be a quick thing for Mason, turned out to be a complete game changer for him and all of us.”

HCSO is still investigating but reports that the 15-year-old shooter is cooperating with authorities. Whatever answers are provided will never soften the final conclusion.

“He constantly made a point of saying good night, that he loved (his mother), hugged her, and was completely infatuated with her. So I know this will be terribly heartbreaking.”

Deputies say they are still investigating and determining whether any charges are warranted.

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