A Missouri family whose son was killed by a gun that was supposed to be unloaded is asking for “memorial” donations to be sent to the National Rifle Association (NRA) or other gun-rights groups in his memory.
On Wednesday, 21-year-old Makenzie Halinski was sentenced to seven years in prison for fatally shooting her boyfriend, 20-year-old Cole Campbell, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
In an interview with Festus police, Halinski said that Campbell had a makeshift shooting range in his basement, and had been teaching her how to use guns on June 24. She said that he told her that one of the guns was unloaded, and said, “Shoot me.” But the gun was loaded, and a bullet struck Campbell in the forehead when she pulled the trigger.
She stated that the pair had been drinking and smoking marijuana at the time of the shooting. The Post-Dispatch also reported that the St. Louis County bomb and arson unit had to be called in to remove “several suspicious items” found at the crime scene. Those items were later described as “pipe bombs.”
Halinski apologized at her sentencing. “I didn’t know anything about guns,” she explained
It was clear in Facebook photos obtained by the Daily Mail that Campbell had a love for firearms. In one photo, he stands in front of a Confederate battle flag holding a rifle. Other photos show him wearing masks, and military gear while holding assault rifles or pistols.
The Post-Dispatch dispatch pointed out that Campbell’s family had said that he aspired to be a gunsmith.
“Memorials in his memory preferred to the N.R.A. or any gun rights organization,” the family asked in Campbell’s obituary.
Watch the video below from KTVI from broadcast June 25, 2014.