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Police: Man accidentally shoots, kills twin brother while pointing gun in the car

He has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Credit: Gulfport Police Department

GULFPORT, Fla. — Twin brothers were sitting in a car when police say one accidentally shot the other in the face.

Investigators say it happened just after 7 p.m. Sunday in Gulfport. According to law enforcement, twins Mathias and Thomas Parkinson-Freeman were sitting in a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder that was parked at their home. Authorities say a mutual friend was in the car, too, as the three talked and joked.

"There was no indication of any sort of conflict," the Gulfport Police Department said.

At some point, police say Mathias pulled out a concealed handgun and pointed it at his twin brother. Investigators say Thomas responded by pulling out his own handgun, pointing it at his brother and pulling the trigger – fatally wounded Mathias, who was hit in the face when the gun accidentally discharged.

"At the time of the shooting, Thomas was wearing a gun belt that he had left
over from his former employment as a security officer for Dunbar," the Gulfport Police Department wrote in a news release. "He had apparently been wearing the belt, with a personally-owned firearm, to show it off to the others."

Thomas was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

"Detectives concluded that Thomas was not acting in self-defense when he drew and fired his gun because he told detectives that he was not in fear and that he did not believe Mathias had any intention of shooting him," the police department wrote. "Thomas said that he reacted automatically based on training and that he does not know why he did so."

Thomas was taken to the Pinellas County Jail. Bond was not immediately set.

"Officers did find a pipe with marijuana residue in the vehicle; at this point
it is unknown if any of the men were under the influence," police added.

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