Thursday, June 27, 2013

North Carolina Man Charged with Manslaughter in Accidental Shooting

Local news reports

Brandon Leigh Switzer, 22, of East Union Street, told police his thumb slipped off the hammer on his 9mm handgun that discharged a round striking Zachary Williams, 23, in the head inside 32 N. Sherman St. just before 4 p.m.

Williams was pronounced dead at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township.

City police and Luzerne County detectives charged Switzer with the manslaughter charge Tuesday night. Switzer was arraigned by District Judge Rick Cronauer and released after posting $250,000 bail.

Switzer told police in a statement that Williams asked to see his .9mm handgun. Switzer ejected the magazine and began to hand it to Williams when he realized he had chambered a round, according to the criminal complaint.

Williams grabbed the firearm’s muzzle when Switzer said his thumb slipped off the hammer, causing it to discharge a round that struck Williams in the head, the complaint says.


  1. This one will be interesting to see if police call Bullshit. Questions to ask include does the pistol have a half cock safety? If it does, and it's functional, then it didn't happen like that.
    Was there a firing pin safety, like I have in my pistol which prevents the firing pin from hitting the primer unless the trigger is pulled?

  2. And are there Williams's fingerprints on the slide? Grabbing a gun that someone is trying to clear is a bad idea.