BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Questions remain after a Brevard County deputy shot and killed another deputy in the apartment where they lived together as roommates.
Law enforcement officers are trained on basic gun safety. Melanye Smith, the Southern Police Institute coordinator, said that means deputy Andrew Lawson went against his training when he pointed his gun at his roommate Austin Walsh’s head and pulled the trigger, twice.
“All law enforcement agencies have policies against horseplay using a weapon: a weapon is a weapon,” Smith said. “Officers are trained to only use a weapon to defray a threat.”
Lawson told investigators he thought the gun was not loaded.
Lawson has been charged with manslaughter, and the charge is enhanced because of the weapon used. Analysts say the maximum sentence he could face is 30 years in prison.
Documents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show neither Walsh or Lawson had any documented disciplinary issues before the shooting.
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