Sheriff: Man killed during 'horseplay' with gun
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Detectives with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office are investigating the fatal shooting of an approximately 30-year-old man, killed by a friend as the two were smoking marijuana and engaged in "horseplay," authorities say.
During an afternoon news conference, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Correz Morse, described the shooting as accidental. It happened early Monday morning at a residence off of South Ronald Reagan Boulevard, about a mile north of State Road 436. The victim was not immediately identified, but has since been identified as 29-year-old Paul Maurice Brown.
Deputies arrived at a duplex after receiving a call from a person who said he frequented the home and found Brown deceased in the kitchen, when he stopped by for a visit. After deputies canvassed the neighborhood for over an hour, Sheriff Lemma said Morse approached them and admitted that he was responsible for the shooting and explained what led to the incident.
"What they would typically do is horseplay around with a gun at the location, meaning they would point it at each other and pull the trigger. Most of the time, the gun was unloaded when that occured," Lemma said.
A struggle occurred between the two, according to the suspect, and the gun discharged.
Sheriff Lemma said the medical examiner would need to investigate and detectives would continue to gather any witness statements, to verify Morse's account of what happened.
"Sometimes that takes a little bit of time," Lemma said. "We need to have an opportunity to look at the position of the body, the type of injuries to the body."
The weapon had not yet been recovered at the time of the news conference, but Lemma said Morse was cooperating and led deputies to the location where he said he disposed of the gun.
"The suspect appears to be very cooperative. You know, he says that, 'I was afraid, I ran,' and when he walks forward to turn himself in...people who are avoiding involvement typically don't do that."
Morse has been arrested on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated drug charge as the investigation continues.
"I will tell you that, even if this is an accident...it speaks to the lifestyle of using and selling drugs," Lemma added.
Correz Morse has been charged with two counts of destruction of evidence as the shooting investigation continues.