SHAWNEE, Oklahoma – The uncle of a 17-year-old gunman who shot and killed a woman then turned the gun on himself believes the shooting was an accident.
Shawnee Police say Jonathan Buss shot 38-year-old Valerie Kerr on Wednesday, October 19, in the 800 block of W. 9th Street. Police say the bullet struck Kerr in the head, killing her. It passed through her body and hit 42-year-old Billy Kirby in the arm. He was treated at a hospital and released.
Mitchell Buss, Jonathan Buss' uncle, says he doesn't believe his nephew deliberately shot Kerr. He says the teen was probably cleaning his father's gun when it went off. He believes the 17 year old turned the gun on himself when he realized what he'd done. Mitchell Buss says his nephew struggled with depression but was not a malicious person.
According to police, Jonathan Buss had a history of mental issues but investigators do not have a motive for the shooting.
News 9 has learned Kirby and Jonathan Buss were cousins, not brothers as earlier reported. Kerr appears to have been a friend who was staying with the family.
Mitchell Buss says there were two other adults and three children in the house at the time of the shooting. They were not hurt.