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Man fatally shoots friend with rifle he thought was unloaded

A Florida man is now facing a manslaughter charge after he pointed what he thought was an unloaded rifle at his friend and shot him in the chest, police said.

Officials say, Shea Michael Harkins was in a bedroom of his house on Thursday night when he picked up a Colt M4 rifle that he had been customizing and pointed it at his friend, Sean Cook, 26, who was playing video games.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s investigators said Harkins, 26, told deputies he pointed the gun at his friend as a joke. He told investigators that Cook said, “What are you going to do, shoot me?”

He pulled the trigger, thinking the rifle was unloaded. However there was a round in the chamber, deputies said.

The bullet struck Cook in the chest, investigators said.

Cook was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Harkins was arrested, and remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Friday morning.