The employee of a shooting range in Texas was indicted on Friday for allegedly shooting and killing a bystander while cleaning a rifle.
A Harris County grand jury handed down the indictment for manslaughter against Tyler Sutton, 21, who was cleaning the weapon when he pulled the trigger "without checking to see if the weapon was loaded," according to the indictment.
The gun fired and struck 36-year-old Joshua Cummings in the head as he was in the parking lot of the shooting range in Cypress, Texas, just outside Houston. Cummings died in the parking lot before he could be airlifted to a hospital, according to Houston ABC affiliate KTRK. The shooting happened on Dec. 12, 2017.
A lawyer for the Cummings family told KTRK they had no comment on the indictment.
"I have been around firearms my entire life, and this sad case is a perfect example that no matter how much experience one has with firearms, you must treat every firearm as if it were loaded," prosecutor Jim Leitner told KTRK. "Presuming a firearm isn't loaded is always a recipe for disaster."
Sutton could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The Cummings family has filed a lawsuit against the shooting range, KTRK reported.
The shooting range, Hot Wells Gun Range, released a statement following the shooting, saying, "We simply do not have the words to express the sorrow in our hearts. For 44 years we have operated this facility accident-free, yet today we are shaken by tragedy."