On Monday, a Merritt Island man fatally shot a 17-year-old friend during a rap song acting session. The shooter called 911, crying that his friend shot himself using his gun. He claimed that he had handed his friend the gun unaware that it was loaded.
“I handed my little brother my gun, and I didn’t know it was loaded, and he shot himself in the head,” Patrick emotionally said on the 911 tape. “He just wanted to see it. He thought it was so cool. I thought I had cleared it and everything. This is so bad. I’m such a horrible person.”
However, police reports indicate that the caller, identified as Rodney Clark Patrick, is the one who handled the gun and shot his friend, 17-year-old Douglas Winslow. Investigations further established that Patrick was acting out a rap song that was playing loudly in the background during the call. The song has lyrics about gang activities and killers and has a chorus that includes gunshots.
“Patrick tried to make it look like the victim shot himself and moved things around,” said Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Although it was an accident, Goodyear stated with categorical assurance that there will be consequences for the shooter.
“It’s a terrible accident, but there are consequences to your actions,” said Goodyear. “You have to take responsibility. He pointed that gun at a person and pulled the trigger.”
The two friends were in Patrick’s house in Merritt Island. He only realized that the .45-caliber handgun was loaded after he pulled the trigger.
Goodyear pointed out that although it was an accident, it was an act of negligent on the part of Patrick, since he should have first confirmed that the gun was not loaded before pulling the trigger.
Patrick has since been charged with manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance.
Patrick’s grandmother was surprised by the incident. She said that Winslow was a very good friend of Patrick’s and that her grandson is a good kid who never causes any trouble.
“I talked with him yesterday, and he’s real upset about what happened. It was accidental and he was very, very close to that boy,” said Virginia Hudmon, 89, of her grandson’s arrest.
An investigation is still underway, with the police carrying out interviews to establish if there could have been any other motive behind the shooting.