Manuel Ortiz died instantly after being shot in the head at about 6am on Monday morning. Family and friends wept as his body was carried from his apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, where the shooting took place.
Police said 22-year-old Ortiz and his sister Savannah Ramirez arrived back at the home they shared on New Year’s Eve after spending the night drinking. They were with two other people when someone in the group pulled out the handgun to take photos with it.
As the 19-year-old posed and played around with the weapon it went off striking Ortiz in the head, according to ABC15.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. It is not known if the group knew the handgun was loaded. Police say she has been questioned and released pending further investigation in the case. Phoenix Police Sgt Steve Martos said the victim’s sister would likely be charged with manslaughter if tests conclude she had alcohol in her system.
‘Every New Year’s Eve, this particular sister is going to be thinking about this for the rest of her life on how…drinking overnight, playing with a gun and now shoots and kills her brother,’ said Phoenix Police Sgt Steve Martos. Friends said the shooting was a terrible accident. One friend who wanted to remain anonymous said she wanted to remember Ortiz as a ‘kind, funny guy he was’.
‘He was a very close friend to everybody. He was just always there and it’s sad because one second he’s here and the other he’s not.’ ‘Every time he saw somebody sad or down he would be right there making jokes so you could be happy. Even if he was just having a hard time he was always there for someone,’ said the friend. Authorities are looking into who owns the gun. On both Manuel and his sister’s Facebook pages there are numerous shots of them posing with guns and making gang symbols.