Autumn King (L) via Austin Police, Erick Allen (R) via GoFundMe
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On December 23, 2018 in Austin, Texas, a 20-year-old woman named Autumn Ravonne King shot and killed her boyfriend, 26-year-old Erick Charles Allen. Three weeks later, King is being held on a manslaughter charge with bail set at $200,000.

According to King, her boyfriend’s death was an accident: Allen was preparing to take a Snapchat photo of her holding a .22 rifle when the rifle unexpectedly did what it was made to do.

According to a court affidavit, King told officers “she had the rifle pointed towards Erick and that the rifle ‘went off.’ … Erick dropped to the ground, but Autumn thought that Erick was ‘playing,’ and she told him to get up.”

“I didn’t even pull it (the trigger), I just barely touched it,” King said in her statement. She also later said the two were “trying to be like Bonnie and Clyde.” She claimed the gun belonged to Allen, who told her his guns were always unloaded. (Life-affirming pro tip: Every gun is always loaded).

It’s possible that King’s story is true. Irresponsible gun owners sometimes fail to follow the four rules of firearm safety, sometimes with disastrous consequences. These accidents are agonizingly stupid, but they’re still accidents.

However, it’s also possible that this killing wasn’t an accident.

After examination, the Mossberg rifle with which King shot Allen was found to be functioning properly with a 5-pound trigger pull. Additionally, footage from a cell phone found at the scene shows the couple arguing “about them both cheating on each other and justification for doing so,” according to detectives. The video was recorded only 16 minutes before the police were called to the scene.

Nicole Shelby-King, the woman who raised Erick Allen from the time he was 12 years old, doesn’t think Autumn just made a mistake. “You just can’t accidentally pull a trigger,” she said, “it was intentional. Period.”

The shooting took place in the home where the two lived together, in full view of two of Erick’s four young children.

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  1. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will be able to accidentally shoot their loved ones.

    “Didn’t pull the trigger. Just touched it.” That’s how teenagers get pregnant.

  2. EVERY GUN IS ALLWAYS LOADED !! you do not take anyone’s word for it. You also do not ever point a weapon at anyone. Sad the kids had to witness this , accidental stupidity . or intentional shooting. Bonnie & Clyde did not shoot each other.

    • This is one of my pet peeves. Don’t teach a statement that is demonstrably wrong.

      Not all guns are loaded.

      The saying is, and should be- “Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.”

      • What you said is true, “treat all guns” is the written rule. Like RA-15, my pops taught me “all guns are always loaded” been working for me all these years.

        • Yeah: “All guns are always loaded”, until one needs a loaded gun that miraculously won’t discharge. Why? Because, to quote John Wayne: “Well an unloaded gun ain’t good fer nuthin”. Hence to treat all guns as if they were loaded even when not.

      • Agreed. Anytime I’ve heard “all guns are always loaded” to a newbie with no further explanation they just get confused. “Treat all guns as if they are loaded” is much clearer and easier to expand.

        Of course even that eventually needs exposition – “treat every gun as if it is loaded until you have personally verified it is unloaded”. Any time it leaves your hands treat it as loaded again.

        Without that you could never field strip your glock, clean any gun, or make a range line safe to change targets.

        • There is a reason that there are FOUR rules of firearm safety. Follow them all, and there will never be a problem.

          Rule #2 should actually be the most stressed to newbies, and followed by all:
          Always point the muzzle in a safe direction, never point at anything you do not intend to destroy.

          No need to argue semantics. It ain’t rocket science.

  3. Every person alive should be taught gun safety. I believe it should be taught in school! I was taught gun safety about 6 years old. My sister had a gun at 6. but both my brother and I was around 8. When we got our first guns. We all are advid hunters. We have never had a gun fire at anytime not wanted. We have never had a shot not planned. The only time I shot at someone was in a war! I fought along side of many that was very careless. I raised 4 girls. They learned to use guns. My second daughter says Dad I will never shoot a gun. I do not want to learn. Now she lives in one of the worse crime cities and has conceiled carry. (Has not needed it.)

  4. Let’s recap what we have learned:
    1) .22LR is insufficient for self-defense but perfectly acceptable for manslaughter.
    2) If you’re cheating on your girlfriend, don’t hand her a loaded gun.

  5. I’ve investigated a lot of homicides. My reaction to this, based on what I read, is, “Yeah, right. Accident? What accident?” If I were working the case it wouldn’t be manslaughter. It would be 1st degree homicide. Let the State Attorney plea it down if they want to.

  6. Well that happened.

    I never had one of those “oh shit” moments when a gun decided to go off.

    4 kids at 26. On his way to populating an apartment complex.

    • Ha I thought the same thing, sounds like where I live. 4 kids at 26 is pretty common here, welfare since they turned 18, and the women wear gold bracelets up to their elbows.

    • I once had a 100-year-old .22 single shot rifle go off without a finger on the trigger. It has never been loaded since. Waiting for a buyback.

    • I once had a bolt action rifle from a major manufacturer that fired when a lady friend closed the bolt. I gave her hell about keeping her finger off the trigger. Imagine my chagrin more than 30 years later when the news hit about model 700s.

  7. been using guns as long as I can remember always double check gun and then dry fire pointed away from everybody

    • Thanks, now I have a name and a face to put with the song that plays on one of the Fallout 76 radio stations!

  8. It’s only a accident after the fact,,, modern do NOT go off by themselves without human interaction, period.!

  9. Moral of the event…..don’t get too worked up over romantic relationships. Keep your cool and your senses. Most things blow over and if they don’t, accept what happens. It’s a lot easier to find a new partner than to to get out of jail or wake up from being dead.

  10. Hmm. A fight bad enough that one of them felt the need to record it, then fifteen minutes later they’re posing for dumb couple pictures and an “accident” happens?

    Kinda sounds like she shot him in the head with a .22 and then dreamed up an excuse, expecting the cops to be like “oh no worries, it’s an accident, have this life insurance and full custody.” ಠ_ಠ

  11. What all firearms instructors should pound into the heads of their students:

    THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS “ACCIDENTS.” There are only varying degrees of negligence performed during a sequence of events that ultimately resulted in a negligent discharge.

    Have that discussion… encourage people to challenge that statement. The truth about varying degrees of negligence in sequence is revealed fairly quickly, and anything that can even generously be conceded as a true “accident” turns out to be wildly implausible (e.g., “…a sudden tornado yanked the pistol from the holster, the trigger guard looped on the tree branch, and the pistol spun and discharged right into where he was standing… see, accident!” Mmkay…).

    Accept this after testing it, and eventually you’ll see there really aren’t such things as gun “accidents.” Who deserves blame for negligence, and what is the appropriate proportion of blame and judgment for negligence, and where the responsibility lies… that is another discussion entirely. But the idea that we are willing to call things “accidents” suggests that we do have a measure of understanding and compassion about the uncomfortable reality of blame and judgment, and responsibility.

    Be safe, and not negligent.

  12. Looks like 1st or 2nd degree homicide to me, with a BS story of an accident to reduce the charges. The kids are probably too young to be reliable witnesses. Maybe manslaughter is the most the prosecutors think they’ll be abke to prove. Don’t f$ck crazy, and definitely don’t cheat on it.

  13. I love it when America’s gene pool gets cleaner, however since they keep breeding the bots are being being replaced.

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