Blake Wardell, who according to his family had a history of mental illness, was with a group of friends in the early hours of Wednesday morning when they found an old bullet-proof vest in the home where they were hanging out, at 429 Broadmouth Church Road in the tiny town of Honea Path, South Carolina.
So Wardell put on the vest and asked one of his friends there, an 18-year-old recent grad of Belton Honea Path High School named Taylor Ann Kelly, to test out the aging body armor — by shooting him.
The young woman obliged him by doing just that.
Sadly, the bullet missed the vest’s protective Kevlar and pierced Blake Wardell’s chest. Anderson County Sherrif’s deputies got a call at about 2:41 am. They rushed to the home to find Wardell lying on the floor of the home’s garage, bleeding from the chest wound.
Accoring to Fox Carolina, which first reported this especially senseless tragedy, people at the scene attempted CPR on Wardell, and paramedics also arrived at the home. But Wardell died from loss of blood.
Blake Wardell was 25 and is survived by his father and a sister. Kelly was one of his friends, in the group of about 10 who were at the home Wednesday. But police said that they found no evidence of excessive alcohol or drug use.
“You took the truth with you ill [sic] never know what happen but when i got there i hope you heard me when i said i lopve [sic] u. i do,” wrote his father, James Wardell, in a Facebook post memorializing his son.
Kelly, whose own Facebook page features numerous images of herself brandishing firearms, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, which could land her in prison for up to five years if she is convicted. She is being held on $10,000 bond in the killing of Blake Wardell.