A Florida Deputy Was Killed When His Roommate Fired A Gun He Believed Was Unloaded

Over the weekend, a 23-year-old Florida sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed by his sheriff’s deputy roommate in what the sheriff called an “obviously idiotic and avoidable accident.”

Sheriff Wayne Ivey announced during a press conference on Sunday that Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy Austin Walsh was killed by his roommate Andrew Lawson on Saturday morning in Palm Bay.

Ivey cited the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Palm Bay Police Department in saying that Lawson, who thought he had unloaded his gun, “jokingly” pointed the weapon at Walsh and pulled the trigger while the two were standing and conversing during a break from playing online games with friends.

Walsh was slain, according to authorities, by a single round that was fired.

Ivey claimed that Lawson contacted 911 right after to ask for assistance after accidentally shooting his roommate. Officers discovered Lawson “totally distressed and devastated” when they arrived.

They discovered Walsh inside the house, where, according to Ivey, he “probably succumbed quickly” to a gunshot wound.

Ivey claimed that Lawson is “totally upset” about what transpired and that the two men were “the closest of friends.”

Even with that, Ivey added, “there is no justification for this awful and very avoidable death.”

After the investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Lawson on a manslaughter charge on a no-bond warrant on Sunday and sent him to the Brevard County jail, according to Ivey.

It’s unclear if Lawson has a lawyer on retainer. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been contacted by NBC News for comment.

Folks, this needless and completely preventable occurrence not only claimed the life of an incredible young man and deputy, but it also permanently altered the life of another excellent young man who had made a very bad and careless choice, Ivey added.

In light of his love for both of the deputies and his opinion that they were both “wonderful kids,” the sheriff admitted that discussing the fatal incident was “one of the toughest days of my career.”

Walsh joined the organization when he was 18 and had previously participated in the Explorers youth program, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

If nothing else, I hope this tragedy serves as a lesson, Ivey said.

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