Officials said a young Florida deputy was accidentally shot and killed by his roommate, who was also an officer, while the two were taking a break from playing video games. Deputy Andrew Lawson of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office called 911 early Saturday, telling a dispatcher that he had fired a round accidentally at his colleague Austin Walsh, 23, and needed immediate assistance.
Lawson and Walsh were taking a break from playing an online video game just before the tragedy, according to Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. Investigators learned that Lawson “jokingly” pointed a gun at his best friend and pulled the trigger, thinking he had unloaded the weapon. Walsh was struck once and died at the scene, according to police.
The deputy was arrested on a no-bond warrant for manslaughter by agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to Ivey’s Facebook post. Officials said he turned himself in on Sunday.
Ivey wrote on Facebook that Andrew and Austin were the best of friends, and Andrew was devastated by what happened. Even so, there was no excuse for the tragic and entirely preventable death.
Walsh has been a deputy with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office since he was 18 years old. He worked as a public safety officer before becoming a deputy. His long-term goal was to become a deputy sheriff. Ivey also said that their community and agency would miss him greatly.