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Palm Harbor man shoots, kills friend with rifle he thought was unloaded: Detectives

Shea Harkins charged with manslaughter
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Shea-Harkins
Posted at 12:50 AM, Jun 19, 2020

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A 26-year-old Palm Harbor man is facing a manslaughter charge after detectives say he shot and killed his friend Thursday night with a rifle that he thought was unloaded.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says Sean Cook, 26, of Clearwater, went to his friend Shea Harkins' Palm Harbor home to play video games.

Detectives say Harkins brought a Colt M4 rifle, which he had been customizing before Cook came over, into the bedroom where they were playing video games.

The sheriff's office says Harkins pointed the rifle, which he thought was unloaded, at Cook as a joke. Detectives say Cook casually asked, "What, are you going to shoot me?" and Harkins admitted he pulled the trigger. According to detectives, there was a bullet in the chamber which hit Cook in the chest.

Deputies were called to the home around 7:48 p.m., according to a press release. Paramedics transported Cook to Mease Countryside Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 8:55 p.m.

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Shea Harkins

Harkins was arrested and charged with one count of manslaughter. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.

The sheriff's office says the investigation is ongoing.