LOS ANGELES : Half-Cocked Gun's Action Surprises Officer in Court

The hammer of an unloaded gun snapped forward in Juvenile Court on Monday as a police detective was demonstrating that a half-cocked pistol could not accidentally discharge, as a teen-ager said happened when he shot a 16-year-old schoolmate at Fairfax High School in January.

"That's not supposed to happen," said a surprised Detective Lloyd Parry after having just testified and demonstrating several times that the hammer of the single-action Ruger Blackhawk .357 must be pulled all the way back before the gun can be fired.

Parry was testifying in the San Fernando Valley Juvenile Court trial of a 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting 16-year-old Demetrius Rice and wounding another student, Eliaho (Eli) Kogman, 17, in a classroom at Fairfax High on Jan. 21. The teen-ager is charged with involuntary manslaughter with the special circumstance that it was committed with a gun. He is also charged with carrying a loaded weapon on school grounds.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Lori Aiu downplayed the significance of the detective's demonstration, saying that the teen-ager still had to pull the trigger for the gun to go off.

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