WAYNESBURG — Authorities are continuing to investigate the death of a Lincoln County teenager who died Friday night of a gunshot wound to the head while in his bedroom with two friends.
Coroner Farris Marcum said he pronounced Cody Mesaris, 16, dead at 10:45 p.m. Friday at the residence on Ky. 1247 in Waynesburg he shares with his mother.
Marcum and Kentucky¿State Police spokesman Trooper Paul Blanton said that the circumstances surrounding Mesaris’s death remained unclear Saturday afternoon.
“It’s either accidental, a suicide or a homicide,” Marcum said. “There is no definite cause of what happened. It’s kind of cloudy right now. You’ve got three boys fooling around with a gun behind closed doors. There’s no telling what could have happened.
“My gut tells me it was accidental. But if it’s an accident, we have two people who were there when it happened, and those boys don’t need to be afraid and just say what happened,” he continued.
Marcum said one of the boys present, another Lincoln County teen, was interviewed at the scene and told investigators the three boys were handling a loaded pistol in Mesaris’s bedroom. The boy said he passed the gun to Mesaris and had looked away when he heard a gunshot and turned around to see his friend crumpling to the floor, Marcum said.
The second boy in the room, also a Lincoln teen, was not interviewed at the scene. Police know the boy’s identity and address but had been unable to locate him as of 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Blanton said.
“Detective (Rodney) Wren is looking for him right now,”¿Blanton said. “Until the detective talks to that other boy, we won’t have a clear picture of what happened. Right now, it’s being classified as a death investigation, but we will go in whatever direction the investigation takes us.”
Marcum and Wren attended the autopsy conducted Saturday in Frankfort. Mesaris died from a single gunshot wound to the head from a .38-caliber handgun that was recovered at the scene, Marcum said. The gun belonged to Mesaris. It was given to him by his mother, the coroner said.
Mesaris’s mother was home when the shooting occurred but did not hear the gunshot because the boys were playing loud music in the bedroom, Marcum said.
The 911 call came in at 10:26, Blanton said, but it was not immediately clear who made the call.
Marcum speculated the boys might have been playing Russian Roulette or some other type of game with the gun.
Blanton confirmed “that’s one of the scenarios Detective Wren is looking at.”