Manatee man dies in accidental shooting - FOX 13 News

Manatee man dies in accidental shooting

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One shot rang out in the apartment Austin Brunson and Kyle Guessford shared in Manatee County.

"I heard like an explosion like a bomb," said Gail Mays.

Mays and her husband, watched the situation unfold at the apartments off 50th Avenue West in Bradenton.

"Kyle went back in there because the door was open. He was saying Austin stay with us, stay with us. You are stronger than that," she recalled.

Deputies said 22-year-old Kyle Guessford bought new accessories for his pistol.

He was checking them out in his room and then decided to walk into the living room with the gun. When he turned on a mounted flashlight, the gun somehow fired.

"I didn't even realize I knew how to cry up until now. It just really hurts," said Chris Brunson.

Chris Brunson woke up to the gun shot.

He was asleep on the couch when the bullet hit his brother, 22-year-old Austin Brunson, in the head. He died before paramedics arrived.

"Right down to the end I watched him and looked into his eyes," said Brunson. "As I watch him going, he fought for every breath. He was just a fighting kid and just wanted to press on."

Guessford has not been charged.

Brunson believes his brother's death was an accident.

"I hugged him last night and told him that I loved him and I told him he didn't mean to," said Brunson.

Brunson and Guessford had been friends since high school.

"He loved my brother just as about as much as I loved him. It's just unfair what happened to him," he said.

Brunson's family now clings to Austin's memory.

"He lived a simple life and he just loved his friends and his family and lived for those people around," his brother said.

As they try to make sense of the mistake that took his life.

"Nobody thought there was a bullet in the thing and of all the places in the apartment it could have hit it went in the one spot that devastated our family," said Brunson.

Manatee Deputies said the gun belonged to Guessford.

The shooting is still under investigation.

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