Brevard County sheriff's deputy Austin Walsh, 23, was killed early Saturday (December 3) morning after his co-worker and roommate Andrew Lawson pointed a gun at him, according to a Sunday (December 4) update from Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
Lawson reportedly told cops Walsh taking a break from playing an online game in their Palm Bay home when the former held a handgun he "believed he had unloaded." That's when Lawson "jokingly" pointed the gun in Walsh's direction and pulled the trigger, Ivey said. Lawson quickly called 911, but by the time first responders got there, Walsh died from a single gunshot wound. Lawson was taken into custody for manslaughter.
"There is no excuse for this tragic and totally avoidable death," Sheriff Ivey said in the video statement. He called Lawson a "great kid who sadly made a horrible and irresponsible decision that has forever impacted the lives of so many." The deputy is "devastated" over his friend's death and is cooperating with the investigation, per the sheriff's office.
Wals has been with the department since he was 18, according to Ivey. The sheriff described him as someone who "was passionate about his job and loved his community."