An Ohio man is behind bars after he accidentally shot a friend during a recent dinner party. Steven Leannais, 30 (pictured above), shot and killed Anthony Stanford II. Leannais claims the shooting was accidental, though a video streamed live on Facebook from the party would suggest that there might be more to the shooting.
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The shooting happened in Leannais’s home in Cleveland. The Facebook video shows the party before Stanford arrived. In it, the drunken Leannais is seen playing with the gun. There were two other friends at the party.
At one point in the video, Leannais assures those watching the video that the gun is empty. He even ejects the magazine and shows the cartridges to the camera.
Stanford, a maintenance worker who repaired homes, arrived at the party before the Facebook live video ended. Sometime after the end of the video, Leannais reportedly picked up the gun, held it at his side, and pulled the trigger. The shot hit Stanford in the abdomen.
Though Leannais called 911, Stanford’s injury would prove fatal. He died at a local hospital after being transported by paramedics.
Authorities believe Leannais’s story about the accidental nature of the shooting. Until now, he had no criminal record. He worked as a banker for BBMC Mortgage. Cleveland Municipal Court has set his bond at $10,000.
Prosecutors looking into the case aren’t convinced that it was an accident. They’re investigating the shooting as an intentional homicide .
Leannais’s attorney Leif Christman says Leannais is “extremely sorry,” the Daily Mail reports. He has even apologized to the victim’s mother. “If there was any to trade places, he’d gladly do it,” Christman said.
“It’s so tragic. His friend is deceased. He hasn’t eaten or slept since it happened. He needs to get counseling.”
The video below will not help Leannais’s case. When one party guest grabs the gun and begins waving it around, Leannais’s chastises him about gun safety and tells him the gun is loaded. The guest then sticks the gun in his mouth. Leannais then goes on, at length, talking about the “bloody mess” that the hollowpoint would have created if the joker playing with the gun had pulled the trigger.