KEY POINTS

  • Candace Chrzan was a 17-year-old high school senior
  • Authorities said the police didn’t think it was an intentional death
  • Investigators did not reveal who owned the gun or who fired the shot ​

A Georgia teenager was shot dead while she was in the middle of a target practice session with her friends behind a house Tuesday night.

Candace Chrzan was a 17-year-old who was getting ready to graduate from a Carroll County high school when the disaster struck.

A spokeswoman from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Ashley Hulsey, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the police didn’t think it was an intentional death.

Hulsey said that on Tuesday night Chrzan and her friends were hanging out in a backyard, possibly trying to practice on targets with a handgun.

The Mount Zion Police Department and the Sheriff's Office had responded to the scene after Chrzan was fatally shot by one of her friends.

Information regarding who fired the fatal shot and who owned the gun was not disclosed by investigators.

Hulsey added the teens involved in the incident are cooperating with the authorities investigating the shooting. The sheriff’s investigators are helping the District Attorney to find out if the incident will result in criminal charges against any of the teens, ABC-affiliated WSB-TV reported.

Officials said the community was grieving following the death of the 17-year-old.

“We ask that you keep the family of Chrzan in your thoughts and prayers as they are trying to process the loss of a bright young soul, and please respect their privacy at this time,” Hulsey said. 

Chrzan's family and friends said she had a big heart and a beautiful personality.

"Everywhere Candace went, that smile with those dimples were on her face," said Chrzan's family friend Tiffany Cantrell, 11Alive reported.

Cantrell said the Chrzan family is distraught, but they are also grateful for the support from the community. 

"We don't believe that guns kill people. We believe people kill people and whether there was foul play involved or not in this situation, that gun ended up in the hands of a minor who should not have had possession of that weapon. Somebody out there has to take responsibility and accountability for that," Cantrell added.

handgun In this image, National Rifle Association members check a pistol in the Remington display at the 146th NRA annual and exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia, April 29, 2017. Photo: Getty Images/Scott Olson