A dad who wanted to play a joke on his son’s friend accidentally shot him dead at close range when the bullet went through the young man's body and hit a car behind.
Apparently the tragedy happened when the man rushed outside to greet his son's friend when he pulled up inside the car outside the family home in the city of Tapalque, in Buenos Aires.
The dad had a spray containing alcohol in one hand, and a gun in the other.
It was not clear what the joke was exactly, and whether it possibly had something to do with pretending to disinfect the other man, but it reportedly involved him squirting the alcoholic spray.
But he accidentally mixed up his hands – and fired the gun instead.
According to local newspaper Infobae, the victim was identified as 26-year-old Tomas Echegaray, who died in the early hours of July 5 whilst being taken to hospital.
According to local prosecutor Marcelo Sobrino, Echegaray arrived at his friend's house, who has not been named, with one more person.
The two had reportedly left the car and were walking towards the house, when the father of his friend and owner of the house, 66-year-old Nestor Felix Hirtz, allegedly shot the gun and hit Echegaray.
Reportedly Hirtz, 66 confessed to shooting the victim, saying it was a prank gone horribly wrong.
Police sources reportedly told Infobae that Hirtz told officers he “screwed it up”.
“I wanted to make a joke on him and I shot him,” he said.
Echegaray was shot in the abdomen and the bullet traversed his body and went out his back, getting lodged in the car behind.
According to the autopsy results, the bullet crossed the liver and the spine.
The suspect's son reportedly took his wounded friend to the hospital in the same car, but he died on the way. After finding out he was dead, his friend is said to have gone into shock.
Police officers arrived on the scene and seized a .44 Magnum gun which is believed to have been the weapon used to shoot him.
Another .38 caliber gun was seized in the family car. It is said that the suspect had permission to hold weapons.
Hirtz has been arrested and charged with simple homicide, according to Infobae, and is yet to talk to the prosecution in charge of the investigation.
Sobrino told local media outlet Todo Noticias that “the incident happened in the house of the aggressor”.
“He was with his son who had invited two friends,” the prosecutor said.
Echegaray was an up and coming footballer and played for Atletico Tapalque. This year he was training with pro team Boca Juniors de Azul, but he had not yet played a match with the team due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The young victim also juggled two jobs in a beer bar and in a real estate agency.
Police say that they are investigating the case.
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