By Bo Thornton
Relatives of a 16-year-old girl from the Bronx, N.Y. are distraught after she shoots herself in the face with a .40 caliber pistol. The shooting is being reported as an accident.
Zion Willis, who once danced for the famous Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, had hopes of making dancing her life long career. However, those dreams were cut short while looking down the barrel of a loaded handgun.
As the Daily News reports, 16-year-old, Zion Willis, was examining the gun. She was reportedly looking down the barrel of the pistol in a 4th floor Bronx apartment on East 171st Street near College Avenue in Mount Eden, when it went off and she ended up accidentally shooting herself in the mouth. Zion Willis died at the scene. She was described by family members as a “beautiful person.”
The man who owned the gun is being reported to be 42-year-old Dale Weston. Officials said Weston went missing just after the shooting and was still being sought by authorities.
The tragedy occurred shortly after 6 p.m. as Willis was visiting the 18-year-old sister of Weston’s girlfriend, who lived in the apartment, according to police sources.
As the two girls were hanging out in a room, Weston came in, showed them the .40-caliber pistol and then left the weapon in the room when he was called away, the 18-year-old told police.
After Weston left the room, Zion Willis picked the gun up to look at it, staring straight down the barrel, and it went off, the older teen reported to the police.
There were at least three adults, as well as some other children in the apartment but in other rooms when the shooting happened according to police.
After the shooting, Dale Weston, who has quite a lengthy arrest record of more than twenty arrests stretching back to 1990, fled the building. Weston’s prior arrests have mostly been for robbery and drug offenses.