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.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.