Kearns teen imitates officer, accidentally shoots and kills friend

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Eighteen-year-old Kaden Christiansen told police he accidentally shot and killed his 16-year-old friend in Kearns after pretending to impersonate an officer and arrest him.

A probable cause affidavit said Christiansen smoked one to two grams of marijuana and shot the teen, later identified as Roman Karpunin, 16, in the back after thinking the gun was on safety and was unloaded.

Unified Police told ABC 4 this happened in a house full of unsupervised teenagers.

Christiansen was booked into jail early Saturday morning, but a quick check shows he is no longer in the Salt Lake county jail.

Police said it was that negligent mistake that cost a 16-year-old his life in the Kearns community. 

Around 1:10 in the morning Saturday officers responded to a house in Kearns for what they were told was a commotion.

“I know we have had a couple of incidents at the home recently but I am not sure exactly what the specifics of those are right now,” said Unified Police Det. Kevin Mallory.

Neighbors told ABC 4 they have seen several incidents happen at the home on Alex Street.

Unified police responded to the shooting death of the 16-year-old and attempts by EMS to resuscitate him he died at the scene. 

“It was a third-party report from a neighbor of some sort of commotion that was going on,” said Mallory. “They weren’t exactly sure what it was but it was some kind of disturbance.”

Mallory said the gun was used negligently and the house had about five to eight unsupervised teenagers inside. 

Christiansen faces one charge of second-degree felony manslaughter.

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