Brevard Deputy Killed By His Roommate and Fellow Deputy
Brevard County Deputy Austin Walsh, 23, of Palm Bay, is dead after his roommate and fellow Brevard County Deputy Andrew Lawson shot him in another case of negligent firearm handling.
Officers with the Palm Bay Police Department were dispatched after a 911 call came in from Lawson. Upon arrival at the home, they were met by Lawson, who was very distraught. Officers stated that Walsh was dead upon arrival after being shot by Lawson with one round.
Lawson stated that the two roommates were playing a video game and decided to take a break. As the two were standing around during the break, Lawson admitted he was holding a handgun which he “believed to be unloaded.” At some point during the conversation, Lawson “jokingly” pointed the gun at Walsh, pulled the trigger, and fired one round, which struck and killed him.
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) December 5, 2022
Austin Walsh, the 23-year-old Brevard County deputy, was killed in an accidental shooting by his roommate and fellow deputy, according to Sheriff Wayne Ivey. https://t.co/180IeSd9su
— News 6 WKMG (@news6wkmg) December 5, 2022
So tragic. @SheriffIvey
says this man, 23 yr old Brevard Co. Sheriff's Deputy, Austin Walsh, was accidentally shot and killed by his roommate, Deputy Andrew Lawson. Lawson pointed what he thought was an unloaded gun at Walsh and fired. Lawson is now charged with manslaughter. pic.twitter.com/0lFYBcCIwy
— Amanda Dukes (@AmandaDukesWESH) December 5, 2022
“This afternoon I have to stand here and talk about the loss of one of my deputies who I love so much as the result of the reckless actions of another one of our deputies, who I also love,” Austin and Andrew were the best of friends and Andrew is completely devastated over what happened, “Even with that, there’s no excuse for this tragic, avoidable death,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.
Deputy Walsh started his law enforcement career at 18 as a police explorer, working his way up to deputy sheriff.
Just a reminder about the four basic firearms safety rules:
1. Always Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot
2. Treat all guns as though they are loaded
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
4. Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
The shooting investigation was conducted independently by the Palm Bay Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE.)
Deputy Lawson was taken into custody by investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and transported to the Brevard County Jail, where he’s being held without bond and charged with manslaughter with a firearm.
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