PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – A Phoenix man is facing a manslaughter charge after police say he accidentally shot and killed his friend.
It happened Wednesday, Aug. 14, outside an auto parts store in the area of 39th Avenue and Van Buren Street.
“Although no crime is alleged at this time, the circumstances surrounding the shooting are being investigated,” Sgt. Vince Lewis of the Phoenix Police Department said that night.
Police later arrested Jose Daniel Bautista, 25.
According to court documents, police were initially told that Bautista’s friend had shot himself in the chest. The unidentified man died at the hospital.
Police said Bautista and another man were with the victim at the time of the shooting.
Court documents show that Bautista said one of the men was playing with the gun when he “racked the slide and loaded a live round into the firing chamber.” Bautista told investigators that he took the gun – now loaded –and put it on the back passenger-side seat.
Investigators say Bautista told them that the victim was insisting on driving when they were getting to leave the auto parts store. Bautista did not want him to.
“Jose states he reached into the vehicle and retrieved a … black Springfield XD9,” reads the probable cause for arrest statement. “He pointed the weapon and attempted to scare [the victim] to stop him from insisting to drive. Jose stated he pointed the firearm at [the victim] and the gun went off.”
Police said Bautista told them it was an accident.
“He again stated he did not know the gun had a round chambered and did not intend to shoot [the victim],” the arresting officer wrote in court documents.
Police said they recovered the gun at the scene.
A judge set a secured appearance bond of $100,000 for Bautista, who is due back in court for a status conference on Aug. 22 and then a preliminary hearing on Aug. 26.