Police: Woman now says 15-year-old stepson's shooting death was accidental

Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:21:49 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 17 2014 06:40:00 PM EDT

Conflicting reports in the death of a teenager, shot and killed outside this Westside home.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The police report charging a Westside woman with evidence tampering says she changed her story about how her 15-year-old stepson was fatally shot.

Bryan Layfield died after being shot at their Westside home on Sunday night.

Christy Files initially told police that someone shot her stepson in the backyard of their home on Melvin Circle about 10:30 p.m., according the the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report. Files added that she saw two suspects fleeing over the fence of the backyard after the shooting.

After investigators found a bloody .22-caliber rifle in the attic of the home, they questioned Files early the next morning. According to the report, Files (pictured in booking photo) admitted that Layfield was shot accidentally inside the home, then added that she put "the firearm in the attic to hide the evidence from police." She went on to tell officers she made up the story about the suspects fleeing from her yard.

Police have not released a report on the shooting itself. Other than a preliminary statement given at the scene Sunday night, the Sheriff's Office has only said: "This is an active homicide investigation. The victim did not shoot himself."

Files, 29, was charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and is being held on $50,000 bond. She has a court appearance set for July 8.

Layfield's uncle, Dillon Barber, said Layfield's mother was headed to Jacksonville from Georgia.

"It hurts bad," Barber said. "He was a good kid. He's always done good in school. He liked school, went and played football, basketball. He'd do anything for anybody."

Barber said Layfield loved to do anything outdoors.

"He was just all about skateboarding and having a good time," Barber said.

Now Layfield's family is preparing to say goodbye.

"That's what we're going to miss. We ain't going to be able to go take him fishing no more," Barber said.

Mark Barber, also one of Layfield's uncles, said the teen's father is currently in jail on unrelated charges and is expected to be released from jail Wednesday. He just learned what happened to his son.

"It crushed him," Mark Barber said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families told News4Jax that it opened an investigation as soon as it heard about the boy's death and that three other children in the home are in the care of a relative. DCF said it's arranging counseling for those children.

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