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Cop accidentally shoots best friend while playing video games

Cop accidentally shoots best friend while playing video games

The pair had taken a break from playing an online game when the incident occurred

A police officer in Florida shot and killed his friend and roommate, who was also a cop, after ‘jokingly’ pulling a gun on him during a break from playing video games, officials have said.

Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Lawson rang 911 early on Saturday morning (3 December) to say he had accidentally shot his roommate Deputy Austin Walsh, 23.

Sadly, Walsh died from the single gunshot wound - and Lawson is now facing a manslaughter charge.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said the two officers were ‘best friends’ and that Lawson has been left ‘distraught’ over the incident, which Ivey branded ‘an extremely dumb and totally avoidable accident’.

Deputy Andrew Lawson shot his roommate on Saturday.
Brevard County Sheriff's Office

According to Ivey, Lawson told authorities he and Walsh had been taking a break after playing a video game online and were ‘standing around, talking’ while Lawson held a handgun he ‘believed he had unloaded’.

Ivey said: "At one point in their conversation, Lawson, thinking that the gun was unloaded, jokingly pointed the gun at Austin's direction and pulled the trigger.”

He went on: “Austin and Andrew were the best of friends and Andrew was completely devastated over what happened. Even with that, there is no excuse for this tragic and totally avoidable death.”

Lawson was taken into custody on Sunday on a charge of manslaughter.

The sheriff said Lawson was ‘fully cooperative’ despite being ‘distraught and devastated’.

Ivey went on to say Lawson was a ‘great kid who sadly made a horrible and irresponsible decision that has forever impacted the lives of so many’.

Deputy Austin Walsh died from a single gunshot wound.
Brevard County Sheriff's Office

Ivery added: “This unnecessary and totally avoidable incident not only took the life of an amazing young man and deputy, but it has also forever changed the life of another good young man who made an extremely poor and reckless decision.”

Paying tribute to Walsh, who had been with the force since he was just 18, Ivey said he was a 'treasured member of our BCSO Family' and ‘passionate about his job and loved his community’.

"Man, Austin was such a great kid,” he said. “Our hearts are broken at his loss. He will be deeply missed by our agency, our community, and our prayers are with his family.”

Lawson was held on a 'no bond' warrant - it is not yet clear if he has a lawyer.

The incident is being investigated by officers from Palm Bay Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Featured Image Credit: Brevard County Sheriff's Office

Topics: Crime, US News