Florida Man Fatally Shoots Friend With Rifle He Thought Was Unloaded

Close up of metal handcuffs
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A Florida man is now facing a manslaughter charge after he pointed what he thought was an unloaded rifle at his friend and shot him in the chest, police said.

Shea Michael Harkins was in a bedroom of a home on Thursday night when he picked up a Colt M4 rifle that he had been customizing and pointed it at Sean Cook, 26, Pinellas County Sheriff's investigators said.

The friends had been playing video games at Harkins' house, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Harkins, 26, told deputies he pointed the gun at his friend as a joke, officials said. He told investigators that Cook said, “What are you going to do, shoot me?”

He pulled the trigger, thinking the rifle was unloaded. However there was a round in the chamber, deputies said.

The bullet struck Cook in the chest, investigators said.

Cook was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators arrested Harkins was arrested, and remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Friday morning. A lawyer isn't listed on jail records..

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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