Man Kills Twin Brother By Accidentally Shooting Him In The Face While Joking Around

A man in Florida accidentally killed his twin brother by shooting him in the face while the pair were joking around inside a parked car, police said.

Officers were called to the scene of the shooting in the 5600 block of 25th Avenue South in Gulfport shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday, the Gulfport Police Department said in a news release.

According to police, 23-year-olds Mathias and Thomas Parkinson-Freeman had been sitting in a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, which was parked at their home, with a friend when the shooting occurred.

"The brothers, along with a mutual friend, sat in the vehicle as they talked and joked," police said. "There was no indication of any sort of conflict."

Police said that at one point, Mathias Parkinson-Freeman had pulled out a concealed handgun and pointed it at his brother. "Thomas responded by producing his own handgun, pointing it at his brother, and pulling the trigger," police said.

Mathias Parkinson-Freeman was "mortally wounded" after being shot in the face, the police department said.

The police department said investigating officers had found a pipe with marijuana residue in the vehicle where the shooting occurred. But they said it was not yet known if any of the men were under the influence at the time.

Thomas Parkinson-Freeman had formerly worked as a security officer, police said, and was wearing a gun belt from his time doing that job when the shooting happened. "He had apparently been wearing the belt, with a personally-owned firearm, to show it off to the others," police said.

Detectives concluded that Thomas Parkinson-Freeman was "not acting in self-defense when he drew and fired his gun," police said. They added that he told detectives that he was not in fear at the time and that he did not believe his brother had any intention of shooting him.

Thomas Parkinson-Freeman said that he had "reacted automatically based on training" and that he does not know why he did so, according to police.

He has been charged with manslaughter, a second-degree felony. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, but he bonded out on Monday, online records from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office show.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, 22 people die in unintentional shootings in an average year in Florida. With a rate of 0.1 deaths per 100,000 people, the state has the 25th highest rate of unintentional gun deaths in the country, according to the nonprofit organization.

File photo: A handgun is seen in its case at the K&W Gunworks store on January 5, 2016 in Delray Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images