21-year-old charged in shooting death of friend


January 25, 2003, 09:20 AM
We are buying a tea room from a friend of this family. That is how I found out about this story. What an idiot! Broke every rule in the book on this one.

A 19-year-old male was pronounced dead Wednesday morning after suffering what police are calling an "accidental" gunshot to his head.

Midland Police Department officers responded to an accidental shooting call from an apartment complex in the 2600 block of North Loop 250 at 12:27 a.m. Wednesday.

Upon arrival, officers found Greg Howe, 19, of Midland with a gunshot wound to the head.

Officials transported Howe to Midland Memorial Hospital where Justice of the Peace Michael Wallace pronounced the 19-year-old dead.

"According to witnesses and preliminary investigations, three men were at (the) apartment ... when the renter of the apartment, 21-year-old David Butler of Midland, wanted to show off his .22-caliber pistol," said Tina Jauz, Midland Police Department public information officer.

Officers said Butler was unaware there was any ammunition in the gun.

"While displaying the weapon inside the apartment, (Butler) pointed the gun at Howe's forehead and pulled the trigger," said Ms. Jauz. "The weapon discharged and Butler called police."

The three people in the apartment were friends, said Layton Fincher, MPD detective.

"There wasn't a disagreement, there wasn't a fight of any kind," Fincher said. "What was done was a reckless incident."

Officers arrested Butler on a charge of manslaughter.

"Detectives determined that Butler intentionally pointed the gun at Howe but unintentionally killed him," Ms. Jauz said.

Officers said there was evidence alcohol was involved, but no evidence of drug use, she added.

If convicted of manslaughter, a second degree felony, Butler could face two to 20 years in prison and may also be fined up to $10,000.

"Obviously... (Butler) didn't intend for that to happen," Fincher said. "This was a tragic mistake."

Butler posted $50,550 bail Wednesday afternoon.

The story (http://www.mywesttexas.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6789571&BRD=2288&PAG=461&dept_id=475626&rfi=8)


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January 25, 2003, 10:28 AM
:cuss: :fire: :banghead: :cuss: :fire: :banghead: :(

Sorry about your friend :(

January 25, 2003, 01:05 PM
Thing that gets me is I have seen too many idiots toss back a few and show off guns. THey normally wind up pointint them at people and enjoying how upset they get. I.E. the more you complain the more they enjoy it. I soon leaned having NO HUMOR about guns was only way. Take the gun away by force and threaten Legal charges. Have a rep for NEVER making a threat you will NOT follow thru. Plus avoided folks like that when I grew up.

January 25, 2003, 03:30 PM
Point a gun at me even as a "joke" and I'm drawing my own.


Standing Wolf
January 25, 2003, 09:06 PM
He should have aimed the pistol at his own head.

Bob Locke
January 25, 2003, 10:36 PM
Negligent homicide, IMO.

Toss him in the pokey and lose the key for a long, long time.

This is NOT an "accident". I really hate repeating this over and over. "Accidents" are occurences in which the situation is beyond the control of the people involved. This was TOTALLY preventable on the part of the shooter and the victim, and that makes it negligence, not an "accident".

If that were my dead 19-year-old, I'd be bringing a wrongful death lawsuit on top of the criminal charges that this idiot will hopefully face.

One of the worse beat-downs I ever delivered in my life was on a friend of mine who pointed a gun at my head, thinking it was unloaded. We were 12 or 13, and I grabbed the muzzle and up it went to the ceiling. Opened the cylinder, and there was a round under the hammer, which was cocked. He barely got out of the house alive. So did I, for that matter.

January 25, 2003, 11:21 PM
A kid a year or two behind me in HS was showing his gf a .22 revolver after he graduated. While she was handling it, she pulled the trigger. Shot him in the pump. He was 19. Another couple their ages were there.

If young children are not taught gun safety, including the safe handling thereof, these sad incidents will continue to happen. :(

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