Teen killed at Henrico birthday party saves others

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Austin Balcarcel, 18, shot and killed himself during his birthday party at his mother's Henrico home over the weekend.

Austin was playing a Russian-Roulette style game, when he died, witnesses said. The gun he fired that night was reported to have been stolen, according to a Henrico Police search warrant.

"My son may have made a huge mistake," Austin's mom Crystal wrote in a message to WTVR CBS 6 News. "He was far from perfect."

But, she said, her son's untimely death may lead to a longer, better life for other families.

"Because of him, seven families are rejoicing while we are in mourning," she said. "He donated his organs to help others and that was Austin's way of doing things."

Crystal said she left her home Sunday evening, while Austin was with his friends celebrating his birthday, to go somewhere quickly with her daughter.

"Austin walked me to my car and told me he loved me and be safe," she said. "He went to the garage and I pulled out of my driveway. I got about a quarter mile away from my house and I heard a gun shot. It sounded like it hit a metal wall.

"I told my daughter to grab my phone, that I was afraid that [the gun shot] had been at my house. I stopped my car and tried calling Austin, but did not get an answer. I hung up and my phone rang right away. It was my son's friend. I didn't even get the phone to my ear before I heard screaming and crying.

"'What's wrong?' I asked him. 'Austin shot himself,'" he screamed.

Austin Balcarcel

Austin Balcarcel

Crystal said she turned the car around and raced home.

"My husband was coming out of the front door when I pulled up. He came right behind me. I saw my son Austin on the floor of my garage lying in a puddle of blood," she said. "[My youngest son] was screaming 'save him mom, save him.' Me and my husband bent down over Austin and tried to apply pressure to his head, but the wound was too big.

"Someone brought me the phone and there was a 911 operator on the line who was giving me instructions on how to apply pressure. I saw the gun laying beside him and I picked it up and told my husband to get it out of here.

"He put it in a bag of fertilizer. The whole time this is going on, different kids kept coming up to us screaming 'no' and 'why Austin'. We had to keep telling them to go back in the house. All of this happened in five minutes or so. The police came up and right away asked where the gun was. My husband led the police to the gun. The ambulance came. That was it."

The gun police found in the garage of the Treva Road home was partially loaded with three rounds of ammunition, according to a police report.

Austin Balcarcel

Austin Balcarcel

"[Austin] was the sweetest boy I've ever met, kindhearted to a fault," his mother said. "I will love and miss him every second that I have left here on this Earth."

Crystal established a GoFundMe account to help cover funeral costs.