According to the Brevard County Sheriff, deputy Austin Walsh, age 23, was accidentally shot and killed on Saturday by his roommate, who is also a deputy. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said, “This afternoon I have to stand here and talk about the loss of one of my cops who I love so much as a result of the reckless actions of another one of our deputies who I also adore.”
Walsh and his roommate Deputy Andrew Lawson were in a Palm Bay residence early on Saturday when the shooting took place, according to a video posted on Facebook by Ivey. “He and Austin were just kind of standing around talking after taking a break from playing an online game with several of their pals. At one point during their talk, Lawson, who was carrying a handgun and thought he had unloaded it, pointed the weapon sarcastically in Austin’s general direction and fired the trigger.
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Ivey claimed that one bullet was fired, striking Walsh, and killing him. Lawson immediately dialed 911 to request assistance before contacting Palm Bay police. The sheriff claimed that once the FDLE was contacted to look into the matter, Lawson was charged with manslaughter. On Sunday, he turned himself in at the jail.
Andrew and Austin were the closest of friends, and he is horrified by what transpired. Even so, there is no justification for this awful, wholly preventable death, Ivey added. The sheriff claimed that Walsh had been a part of the Explorers program before joining the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office at the age of 18. Ivey declared that his company is in mourning. He also hopes that this tragedy will serve as a lesson.
Folks, this needless and entirely preventable occurrence not only claimed the life of an incredible young man and deputy, but it also irreparably altered the life of another excellent young man who made a very bad and careless choice, Ivey added. In Florida, manslaughter is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum 15-year jail sentence.