JOSHUA - Authorities in Johnson County said a brother who shot and killed his 13-year-old sister will not be charged after they determined the shooting was accidental.
Austin McCord, 19, was clearing his weapon when he accidentally fired the fatal shot that struck his sister, Emilee Bates, Tuesday night at a residence off FM 917 in Joshua, read a statement released by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office,
According to the statement, McCord had two dummy rounds placed above a loaded magazine.
"McCord then ejected the two dummy rounds and believed he was making the weapon safe by pulling the trigger to drop the bolt on and empty chamber forgetting he had a loaded magazine, which then discharged and struck his sister," the statement said.
Authorities did not reveal the exact weapon involved in the shooting.
Police received the 911 call about the shooting at about 8 p.m. Tuesday. Bates was rushed to an area hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
The teen was a student at Loflin Middle School in Joshua.
Extra counselors were called in to help students who needed to talk. Some students left class early to grieve the loss of a close friend.
"She always put a smile on my face," said friend Lauren Hill as she fought back tears. "We just hang out and we would always pass notes during class. We would always just laugh during class."
Hill's mother Elizabeth comforted her daughter and called it a difficult time for everyone, particularly her classmates.
"They're just going to have to be there for each other and everybody's going to have to support each other and help each other get through it," she said. "It's a tough thing and it's really sad."
Thursday is the las day of school for students in the Joshua Independent School District.
Bates' death was the second in the district this school year. In September, 17-year-old Heidi Hunt was killed in a car accident. She was a student at Joshua High School.