Broward News

Boca Woman Shoots Boyfriend While Play-Acting With Gun

A Boca woman was playing with a gun she didn't realize was loaded when she shot and killed her boyfriend, according to police.

Erin Steele, 20, and her boyfriend, Justin Holt, 22, were hanging out with a couple of friends when a fourth friend, Joshua Henry, showed up with a gun.

The group of friends took turns looking at the weapon, and playing around with it. At one point, they began playfully pointing the pistol at each other and pulling the trigger, pretending to shoot one another.

According to Boca Raton Police, when the friends seemed to be done playing with the gun, Henry then loaded the pistol and set it down on a counter.

Steele, not knowing that the gun had been loaded, picked up the gun and pointed it at Holt. She again playfully pulled the trigger, firing a bullet into Holt's chest.

Police say the 911 call came just before 11:00 p.m. last Sunday night.

'"There was an accident," Henry told the dispatcher, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "There was a very bad accident. Someone picked up my firearm by mistake, ma'am, and someone got shot. Please, please come."

They rushed to the Gables Town Place apartment complex where they found Holt and rushed him to the Delray Medical Center.

Holt was pronounced dead soon after arriving to the medical center.

Police have yet to classify the death, though they are not expected to charge Steele.

Holt's family, meanwhile, have said that they don't harbor any ill will towards Steele, and understand that the shooting was an accident.

According to friends and family, the couple had been in love, and were inseparable. Holt and Steele had had Thanksgiving dinner at Holt's grandfather's house.

"We have a lot of compassion for her because she's got to live with that, no matter what she does, for the rest of her life," Holt's grandfather, Michael DiFiore, told the Sun Sentinel.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph