The former editor of Guns & Ammo magazine was accused of murdering a friend with a gun and ammo in Golden Valley, Arizona on Wednesday.
Mohave County sheriff’s charged 53-year-old Richard Erick Venola with second-degree murder for the killing 39-year-old James Patrick O’Neill, who was found dead at the scene.
Sheriff department spokeswoman Trish Carter told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Venola shot O’Neill in the chest with a “high-caliber” rifle and at least three weapons were removed from the scene. O’Neill was visiting the former Guns & Ammo editor’s house at the time.
Detective Larry Matthews wrote in his report that Venola seemed to be intoxicated by the time he talked to officers. Neighbors told deputies that the the suspect was having “heavy words” with O’Neill.
“Mr. Venola came over to the neighbors carrying a rifle and stated he just killed a man,” according to the report. “Mr. Venola acknowledged he killed the man, but didn’t say why.”
According to the Guns & Ammo website, Venola became the 12th editor of the magazine in 2007. He had served as the associate editor of RifleShooter magazine since 2004 after being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1996.
After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, Venola used his position as editor to warn readers that they should join his “largest business competitor,” the National Rifle Association (NRA), or “those in the new administration who drool at the chance of neutering the Second Amendment will become emboldened.”
Guns & Ammo spokeswoman Amy Sorrells told the Journal-Review that the former editor continued contribute as a writer. The magazine has also said that his 2010 departure as editor was “amicable.”
Venola was booked at Mohave County Jail. Bond was set at $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Rick Lambert.
Watch this video of Venola firing a rifle at an iPad, uploaded Dec. 22, 2010.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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