A man prohibited from possessing a gun was arrested by Mesa police and accused of manslaughter after he accidentally shot and killed his 18-year-old girlfriend.
Matthew Walsh, 23, purchased the .38 caliber handgun in a casino parking lot and was showing the gun to his girlfriend on March 13 when he accidentally shot her in the hip, according to a court document.
The report said that the victim, identified by police as Amanda R. Encinas, was fatally injured when the bullet struck an artery. She was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn, where she was pronounced dead.
Walsh, who was arrested by police on Thursday at a Maricopa County jail, admitted to pulling the trigger but said he thought the gun was not loaded, the court document said.
The document said police accused Walsh of manslaughter, misconduct involving weapons and unlawful discharge of firearms.
“He said he attended gun-safety classes as a youth and does not know why he pulled the trigger while the gun was pointed in his girlfriend’s direction. He said he knows he should not have pulled the trigger,’’ the report said.
The document said the shooting occurred at about 3 p.m. in Encinas’ bedroom in an apartment in the 800 block of East Brown Road, where Walsh had lived with Encinas and her mother for two months.
23-year-old Matthew Walsh, of Mesa, Arizona bought a .38-caliber handgun. Because he was on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia and forgery he was not allowed to possess firearms, so he bought the handgun through a private sale where there would be no background check. He met the seller in a casino parking lot.
Three days later he was showing his girlfriend, 18-year-old Amanda Encinas, the gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon.
The bullet struck Amanda in the hip, hitting her artery. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Walsh admitted pulling the trigger but said he thought the gun was unloaded. According to the police report, “He said he attended gun-safety classes as a youth and does not know why he pulled the trigger while the gun was pointed in his girlfriend’s direction. He said he knows he should not have pulled the trigger.”
Walsh was arrested and charged with manslaughter.