Phoenix, AZ – A Facebook photo opportunity ended in the death of 22-year-old Manuel Ortiz. Siblings Manuel Ortiz and his 19-year-old sister Savannah Ramirez were posing with a gun when Savannah accidentally shot and killed her brother. He died instantly from a shot to the head.
Police say the two had been out allegedly drinking, celebrating the upcoming New Year early. The fatal accidental shooting happened around 6 am Monday morning in Manuel’s apartment. The siblings were with two other unnamed individuals. Someone in the group pulled out the gun and suggested posing for photos with the lethal accessory. According to The Daily News, it was not known by the group whether or not the gun was loaded before playing with it.
ABC15 News reports Phoenix Police Sgt Steve Martos saying that the victim’s sister would likely be charged with manslaughter if tests conclude she had alcohol in her system.
Manslaughter is applied when a defendant is accused of causing the death of another person by acting recklessly. Under Arizona law, a reckless act is generally defined as one where a person knowingly disregards a serious risk. The majority of manslaughter cases that occur in Phoenix transpire alongside people heavily imbibing alcohol and committing vehicular manslaughter, i.e., driving while under the influence, ignoring risk, and inadvertently killing a bystander.
In Phoenix, manslaughter is a class two felony which is often charged as a dangerous offense, meaning that a conviction or guilty plea will require the judge to impose a prison sentence. If convicted of manslaughter as a class two dangerous offense, the court is required by law to impose a prison sentence of seven to 21 years in the Arizona State Department of Corrections.
Please spare a loved one the same fate, and do not play with weapons as though they are toys.