A 20-year-old woman from Austin, TX, faces manslaughter charges which may be upgraded to murder.
When Austin police officers responded to a 911 call from Autumn King, they found her boyfriend, 26-year-old Eric Allen with a fatal gunshot wound.
King told officers she had been posing with the .22 caliber “Assault Rifle” for a Bonny and Clyde style photo for social media, when the gun went off, seemingly on its own.
In the court affidavit about the case:
“Autumn said that Eric dropped to the ground, but Autumn thought that Eric was ‘playing,’ and she told him to get up.”
When he didn’t, she then tried to drag Allen out of the residence to a car. When she couldn’t she then dialed 911 to report the shooting.
All of this occurring in front of Allen’s two small children.
“A 2-year-old and a 9-month-old got to watch their daddy die today.” Allen’s tearful sister, Laquisha Allen, told KXAN. “That’s the hardest thing in the world that you can see is your daddy lying on that floor dead.”
King told investigators Allen had told her he didn’t keep his guns loaded. But the .22LR caliber Mossberg rifle was.
In her statement to officers, she said:
“I didn’t even pull it (the trigger), I just barely touched it.”
Police confirmed that the weapon had a 5 lb. trigger which was working properly.
She was taken to Travis County Jail Monday and charged with manslaughter.
Austin Police Homicide Detective Eric De Los Santos said:
“She was reckless, when she took this rifle, possibly believing that it was loaded and then aiming it directly at our victim who was supposed to be taking a Snapchat photo of her.”
But when officers searched through Kings phone, they found something that didn’t quite fit what she told police.
On the phone was a video of the couple arguing over cheating allegations, only 16 minutes prior to King dialing 911.
“Based on what the video shows the argument between the two is about them both cheating on each other and justification for doing so,” Austin Police Department detectives wrote in the court affidavit.
When Detective De Los Santos was asked if there is a possibility that King is lying, and wasn’t taking a photo like she said, but actually killed her boyfriend, he responded:
“Was there some underlying issue that we are not aware of? That’s a possibility, but (right now) we can prove manslaughter.”
Police officials said the charges could be upgraded to murder depending on the course of action taken by the District Attorney’s Office.
At the very least, King is guilty of failing to follow simple firearm safety rules:
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Know your target and what is beyond.
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
Firearm safety is everyone’s responsibility. Learn how to use your weapons safely, and skillfully, by reading here for a list of qualified firearms instructors in your area.
While the .22 Long Rifle caliber is not usually considered ideal for self, or home defense, as we can see here it only took one well placed shot to kill Allen. Read here for Physiology of Stopping The Threat.
What do you think of this tragic situation? Leave a comment below to let me know.