MIAMI, Fla. – The now 18-year-old who admitted to police that he shot a 15-year-old girl in the head accidentally while playing with a gun, appeared in Miami-Dade County bond court Wednesday.
Witnesses told police that Thalys Gabriel Oliveira had been pointing the gun at different people during the night in his Miami Shorecrest neighborhood apartment when he shot Arya Gray on May 12. He was 17 when taken into custody and was charged as a juvenile, but 12 days later, on May 27, he turned 18 and is being charged as an adult with first degree manslaughter.
Gray’s uncle was in court Wednesday with other family members.
“Arya was a beautiful young girl,” said Sergio Ratselli, Gray’s uncle. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
Oliveira wore a mask and kept his head down during the brief virtual hearing. It took Judge William Altfield less than 10 minutes to render his judgment, one that left the victim’s family unhappy.
Oliveira was allowed to be placed under “total lockdown” on house arrest, instead of staying in jail.
Gray’s family was stunned by that decision.
“Anybody that’s charged with manslaughter as an adult shouldn’t have any bond, or be released at any point from jail," said Ratselli.
The prosecution said that the defendant showed a reckless disregard for the safety of minors that were in his apartment and that witnesses told police that Oliveira was “brandishing the gun throughout the night and pointing it at other individuals” before the gun went off.
Oliveira told police while being interviewed after the shooting that while he was playing with the firearm he pulled the trigger and saw a flash.
Officers responded at 2:21 a.m. to 7843 N.E. 10th Ave., where Gray was found with a gunshot wound to her head. She was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she later died.
Oliveira’s attorney said that the gun did not belong to his client and that one of the witnesses had brought it into his apartment. Police reported that the Glock 43 used in the shooting was reported stolen from Homestead on April 24.
This wasn’t the first time the teen had been in possession of a gun, according to the prosecution. In 2019, a North Miami officer stopped Oliveira after responding to reports of shots fired. The officer discovered a handgun in Oliveira’s backpack. He told police the gun in his bag was his father’s.
Gray’s sister was also in the apartment along with two other people on the night of May 12 when the teen was shot. Oliveira and Gray knew each other from Miami Beach High School, where he had played football and where Gray was a freshman.