LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) – An accident or reckless use of a firearm? The Harnett County District Attorney’s Office said a deadly shooting in November was the latter and charged a 16-year-old with second-degree murder.

Emmanuwell Nelson appeared in court Tuesday in connection with the death of 15-year-old, Owen Caltagirone.

Also Tuesday, CBS North Carolina spoke with Caltagirone’s mother, Sandy Caltagirone.

“Can I say hell, because it’s literally been hell,” Sandy Caltagirone said.

Wednesday will mark a month since her son was shot and killed. Authorities said it happened at the hands of his best friend, Nelson.

Trey Howard said he was there that night, he called it an accident.

“We went hunting the night before, forgot to empty that one particular gun, I guess and it was in a direction and when it went to be moved – the gun was old and I guess something got caught on it – and caused it to go off,” Howard said.

Harnett County District Attorney Vernon Stewart disputes that account.

He told CBS North Carolina that Nelson handled the firearm in a very reckless manner. Under state law, Nelson is an adult.

“I was in the army. You don’t point a gun at anybody whether its load or not,” Caltagirone said. “E-man and my husband had gone out to the backyard plenty of times. He knew how to fire a weapon. He knew how to do it safely. He knew how to put the safety on,” she went on to say.

“He’s not a bad kid. He’s not a bad kid at all. He didn’t mean to do it,” Phyllis Nelson, Nelson’s mother said.

“If you take somebody’s life you need to do what’s right by the law,” Sandy said.

Nelson bond set at $400,000. He’s due back in court on Jan. 2.