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‘Let’s go scare Bradley.’ Arrest report details shooting of Lithia teen Bradley Hulett

Christopher Bevan, 15, faces a charge of manslaughter with a firearm in the Dec. 13 death of Hulett. Prosecutors said he mistakenly believed the gun was not loaded.
Bradley Hulett played for the Valrico Venom, an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, and led the team in scoring last fall. Bradley, 15, was fatally shot at a friend's house in Lithia on Dec. 13, 2019.
Bradley Hulett played for the Valrico Venom, an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, and led the team in scoring last fall. Bradley, 15, was fatally shot at a friend's house in Lithia on Dec. 13, 2019. [ Courtesy the Hulett family ]
Published Mar. 3, 2020|Updated Mar. 4, 2020

TAMPA — When three teenage boys found a handgun atop a cabinet in the master bathroom of a Lithia home Dec. 13, one of them took the weapon out of a holster and headed to a bedroom.

“Let’s go scare Bradley,” the boy said, according to an sheriff’s report.

In the other room, 15-year-old Bradley Hulett sat at a computer playing a video game.

“Oh, that’s real,” one of the other boys heard Hulett say.

Seconds later, the gun went off.

Hulett leaned forward against the table. He’d been shot in the back of his head.

Those details, based on an account one of the teens gave Hillsborough sheriff’s detectives a day after the shooting, are included in an arrest report released Tuesday.

Christopher Bevan, 15, was arrested Friday on a charge of manslaughter with a firearm in his friend’s death. He mistakenly believed the gun was unloaded and did not mean to shoot Hulett, according to a statement the office of Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren released last week.

Bevan will be prosecuted as an adult, the office said. As of late Tuesday, he had yet to be booked in adult jail. It was uncertain whether he would appear in court for a hearing Wednesday morning.

Related: Teen charged in shooting death of Lithia teen Bradley Hulett to be prosecuted as adult
Friends and family of Bradley Hulett, 15, who was fatally shot at the home of a Tampa Police Officer gather for a vigil at Park Square Plaza, located on 16132 Churchview Dr, in Lithia, Florida on Monday, December 16, 2019
Friends and family of Bradley Hulett, 15, who was fatally shot at the home of a Tampa Police Officer gather for a vigil at Park Square Plaza, located on 16132 Churchview Dr, in Lithia, Florida on Monday, December 16, 2019 [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]

The shooting occurred in the home of a Tampa police officer. Authorities have not released his name, but the report identifies the homeowner as Edwin Perez.

He was not home when the shooting occurred and later permitted detectives to conduct a search.

Among the items they found was a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, which was in a holster in the master bathroom, according to the report. There was a single spent 9mm bullet shell casing in the bedroom where Hulett was shot.

The officer’s son was with Bevan when they discovered the gun in the master bedroom. The Tampa Bay Times is not naming the son or the fourth boy who was present due to their ages and the fact that neither of them was charged with a crime.

In his statement to investigators, the fourth teen said the boys, who were all sophomores at Newsome High School, went to the home after school let out. They arrived about 3:25 p.m.

Bevan used a bathroom and clogged a toilet, he said. The three searched for a plunger while Hulett played on the computer in a south bedroom.

The search took them to the master bedroom and master bathroom.

There was no magazine in the gun when they found it, the teen said, according to the report.

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After they went to the south bedroom, the teen said, he saw Bevan holding the weapon in his right hand and “waving it around.” The police officer’s son stood nearby.

"What if it’s loaded?” Bevan said, according to the teen.

Immediately thereafter, he heard the gunshot.

Related: For family of teen shot at Tampa cop's home, anger and unanswered questions
Brad Hulett holds a basketball signed by teammates and friends of his son while describing the recent shooting death of 15-year-old Bradley Hulett in Fishhawk Ranch December 13, 2019.  Photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 in Lithia, FL.
Brad Hulett holds a basketball signed by teammates and friends of his son while describing the recent shooting death of 15-year-old Bradley Hulett in Fishhawk Ranch December 13, 2019. Photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 in Lithia, FL. [ JAMES BORCHUCK | Times ]

The 911 call came just after 4 p.m.

When a Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home in the FishHawk Ranch community, he was directed to the downstairs bedroom.

Bevan held a towel to Hulett’s head. He said he had pulled the trigger, according to the arrest report.

Hulett was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 5:45 p.m.

The families of the three boys each retained lawyers. Two of them gave statements, but Bevan did not speak with investigators.

On Jan. 29, the officer’s son gave a statement to the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office. He said that while looking for a plunger, he used a paper clip to unlock the master bedroom.

When he found the gun, he said he wanted to show it to Hulett, according to the report. He said he never pointed the weapon at Hulett and denied he was trying to scare him.

Related: Teen who shot friend at Tampa cop's home to be charged with manslaughter

He said he wasn’t paying attention to what Bevan was doing once he took the gun from him, according to the report. But he heard the gunshot shortly thereafter.

Investigators spoke with a family friend of Bevan’s who said he had taken the boy to a gun range several times in the past to shoot rifles, according to the report.

The police officer was not charged with a crime because there was not enough evidence to show that he violated the state’s safe storage law, the State Attorney’s Office’s statement said.

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