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Dallas County teen shot to death with malfunctioning gun on day of prom

Published: Apr. 17, 2017 at 8:22 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2017 at 10:26 PM CDT
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DALLAS CO., AL (WSFA) - Instead of going to his senior prom, a Selma teenager found himself behind bars, charged with the murder of his friend.

The deadly shooting happened as a group of friends was riding down the road in the Sardis area Friday, according to Captain Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

Around 11:30 a.m. Friday four teenagers, including the victim and suspect, were in the same car near the intersection of County Road 67 and Industrial Drive.

The Dallas County Sheriff's Department says the suspect, Ratravious Sanders, 19, whom Granthum identified as a senior at Selma High School, managed to get a gun and was trying to show it off to his friends in the car.

He was in the back seat and tried to shoot it out the window of the vehicle, but the 9mm malfunctioned so he brought it back inside to see what the problem was and it went off, Granthum explained.

The bullet went through the front passenger seat and shot the victim, Rufus Williams, 19, in the back. The female driver, who is Williams' girlfriend and Sanders' sister, pulled the car over and the teens called 911. Williams was dead on arrival, officials said.

"They were hanging out having a good time before prom," Granthum explained. "There was no argument or anything like that. We do not believe Sanders was familiar with the gun."

Ratravious Sanders was charged with murder and is being held without bond in the Dallas County Jail. The sheriff's office says Sanders missed his prom, which was held Friday night.

"This was just a senseless, reckless act," Granthum explained. "We're trying to figure how the gun was obtained and forensic analysis is underway. Guns aren't to be playing with."

No one else in the car was injured in the incident.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.