Rodney Patrick Jr., a 22-year-old Florida man, has been charged with manslaughter with a firearm, tampering with evidence, and the possession of a controlled substance in connection with the Monday night death of his girlfriend’s little brother, 17-year-old Douglas Winslow.
Patrick fatally shot 17-year-old Douglas Winslow as the two were allegedly acting out the lyrics to a rap song, as reported by New York Daily News.
Florida Today reveals that Patrick was crying and pleading for help from a 911 dispatcher around 9 p.m. Monday, stating that his 17-year-old friend, Douglas Winslow, took his gun and accidentally shot himself in the head.
The 911 tape revealed a horrified Patrick as he described what happened, as reported by New York Daily News.
“I handed my little brother my gun, and I didn’t know it was loaded, and he shot himself in the head. He just wanted to see it. He thought it was so cool. I thought I had cleared it and everything. This is so bad. I’m such a horrible person.”
Brevard County deputies did not believe this story, and investigators were quick to discover Patrick was not telling the truth.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office reports that Patrick and Winslow were inside Patrick’s bedroom at his Merritt Island home listening to “Bustin’ At ‘Em,” by rapper Waka Flocka Flame.
As the lyrics blared through the speakers, Patrick grabbed his.45 caliber handgun, pointed it at Winslow in an effort to act out the rap lyrics, pulled the trigger, and shot his friend. Patrick believed the weapon was unloaded.
Florida Today reveals the lyrics to the rap song includes the lines, “I just don’t get it anymore, they don’t even gang-bang with a purpose, cold-hearted killers that barely got facial hair. I’m tired of tryin’ to get through,” followed by sounds of gun shots, as well as references to “gang-related activities” and “cold-hearted killers.”
Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office stated that Patrick was negligent in checking to see if his gun was unloaded before recklessly handling it. Investigators determined that the shooting was an accident. Goodyear told Florida Today that gun owners must be responsible with their weapons.
“It’s a terrible accident, but there are consequences to your actions. You have to take responsibility. He pointed that gun at a person and pulled the trigger. Patrick tried to make it look like the victim shot himself and moved things around.”
Investigators reported to WFTV that Patrick tossed the gun into a hamper and tried to get rid of a bullet casing as well, causing him to be charged with tampering with evidence.
As Patrick stood before a judge on Wednesday, the court revealed that there was “no blood spatter on Winslow’s hands or arms, which would have been consistent with him shooting himself in the head.”
Assistant State Attorney Gary Beatty reported to WFTV, “We’ve got a gun being waved around. We’ve got the safety being clicked on and off a loaded gun. A reasonable person knows or should know that action can result in someone’s death if the gun discharges.”
The judge ordered Patrick to be held in the Brevard County jail with no bond.
As pictures emerge from Patrick’s Facebook profile of him standing in a bathroom holding a handgun, Winslow’s family are struggling with the idea of the shooting being an accident. They told WFTV that they don’t believe anyone accidentally points a gun and pulls the trigger.
Winslow was simply at Patrick’s house waiting for his sister to get off work. A very tragic ending indeed.
[Photo Credit: NYDailynews.com, Facebook.com]