Kearns teen who accidentally shot, killed friend rearrested after DA says he’s a danger to society

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The teen who accidentally shot and killed his friend while pretending to be a police officer has been rearrested after the Salt Lake County District Attorney disputed the original pre-trial release agreement.

Kaden Christiansen, 18, was arrested on November 21 after police responded to his home in Kearns on a report of some sort of commotion.

Once officers arrived, they found 16-year-old Roman Karpunin dead from a gunshot wound. According to the Office of the Medical Examiner, the bullet entered Karpunin’s back, partially severed his spine, then passed through his aorta, his pulmonary artery, and his left lung before exiting the upper left portion of his chest.

A probable cause affidavit says Christensen originally told officers someone else shot Karpunin, then fled the home before police arrived but later admitted he smoked one to two grams of marijuana and shot the teen in the back after thinking the gun was on safety and was unloaded.

Kaden Christiansen

Christiansen was allowed to be released without posting bail but once the Salt Lake County District Attorney filed formal charges on November 25, a new warrant for his arrest was issued.

The warrant states the DA believes Christiansen is a danger to the community due to buying a gun from a friend whom he had no idea what the caliber of the weapon was and he pointed the gun at another human’s back and pulled the trigger, demonstrating a lack of care for human life.

Documents additionally stated police found a .20 shotgun in his room with the serial number partially scratched off, several phones, marijuana, a scale, and other drug paraphernalia. Police also said on Christiansen’s Facebook, he identifies as a gang member and is seen posing with firearms and throwing up gang signs.

Police have not been able to recover the weapon used in the shooting, documents state.

Christiansen was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday where he is being held without bail. He faces charges of second-degree felony manslaughter, third-degree felony obstructing justice, possession of a firearm by a restricted person (x2), and misdemeanor drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Christiansen’s next court hearing is scheduled for November 30.

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