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PERU, Ind. — A shooting that took the life of a Maconaquah High School student is being called an accident by the girl’s own mother.

Hanna Cox, 18, died at the scene after police responded to a report of a person shot on Capehart Avenue Thursday afternoon near the Grissom Air Reserve Base.

Cox was found inside a parked car in a residential area, and police say she had been visiting 18-year-old Jeremiah Smith. Smith was allegedly inside the car when Cox was shot.

The girl’s mother, Mindi McKee, tells FOX59 she was Facetiming with Hanna just minutes before the shooting.

She says Smith was her daughter’s on-again off-again boyfriend, and they were laughing and joking during the call.

According to McKee, Smith was showing Hanna a gun he recently got when she was accidentally shot.

Neighbors heard the shot and screams and ran to help.

“We kept telling her to come on breathe, breathe, breathe, hang in there and she couldn’t,” Scott Coy said.

Indiana State Police also believe the shooting was accidental. They say Smith was “playing” and thought the gun was unloaded when he shot Hanna.

Booking photo of Jeremiah Smith

“Someone, for lack of a better term, playing with a firearm pointing it at an individual and killing them,” Sgt. Tony Slocum said. “Whether that was intentional or not, it’s not just tragedy it’s a crime in the state of Indiana.”

Police arrested Smith for involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, and pointing a firearm.

McKee says Smith was respectful and treated her daughter very well. She tells us she is praying for his family.

Hanna was a senior at Maconaquah High School and is described by her mother as a “free spirit”.

Hanna’s death has rocked the Miami County community. Indiana State Police say the saddest part is that her death didn’t have to happen.

“This is another example of the many we have throughout our nation of someone believing a gun was empty pointing it another way home and now he’s lost another life unnecessarily,” Sgt. Slocum said.

Maconaquah Schools posted the following on its Facebook page on Thursday, a few hours after the shooting:

It is with deep sorrow that Maconaquah School Corporation acknowledges the passing of Hanna Cox, one of our seniors at Maconaquah High School.

This unexpected tragedy brings grief to so many, and as we come together to support one another, we ask our community to give the family space to grieve through this tragic event.

Counselors will be available on all campuses tomorrow, and we will have extra staff available on campus at Maconaquah High School. If there is a two hour delay or shift to eLearning, counselors will be available on campus starting at 11AM for parents to bring any student in need of counseling services. We encourage all students and staff affected by this tragedy to reach out to one of our counselors for support.

Building principals will be available by phone and email this evening as a source to help guide students, staff, and parents through this devastating loss.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact ISP detectives by calling the Indiana State Police Peru Post at 800-382-0689 or 765-473-6666.