U.S. Army soldier Patrick Myers was placed under arrest on Sunday after a joke went bad and led to the death of his fellow comrade.
Spc. Patrick Edward Myers and Pfc. Isaac Lawrence Young were watching Sunday night football when Young developed a case of the hiccups. Believing he could "scare" the hiccups away, Myers grabbed a nearby handgun and pointed it at Young's head. According to a police report, Myers thought the gun was loaded with dummy bullets when he pulled the trigger.
The shot struck Young in the eye and he died while en route to the hospital. Young had been a member of the U.S. military for a total of 16 months.
"Weapons are nothing to be played with, especially handguns, and when that happens, it doesn't come out good," Carroll Smith of the Killeen Police Department told KXXV-TV in Waco. "Unfortunately somebody lost their life over this."
Both soldiers were stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. Police said that both men had been drinking alcohol before the shooting took place, according to Yahoo News. Myers was charged with manslaughter; his bail was set at $1 million.
Even guns loaded with blanks can be deadly, if the muzzle of the gun makes direct contact. A blank type of cartridge is loaded with gunpowder, and although there is no bullet, the pressure from the release of gunpowder can still be lethal.
Myers actions were questioned because, as a member of the U.S. Army, most believed that he should have known better.
"One of the first things you learn in weapons training is to treat all guns as if they were loaded," Mike wrote on the Yahoo blog.
"Unfortunately all the public education and military training about guns and gun safety goes out the window after you've had one too many drinks," Tom O. suggested.