Justin Ayers, 33, had just made it home from the hospital with his wife, extended family, and 3-day-old child when a drunk felon next door with a 9mm pistol fired a shot that traveled more than half a football field away, tore through Ayers' house, and killed him.
Ayers was a well-known musician and guitar teacher in Panama City, Florida, whose first child was born on Father's Day, just days before the the slug killed him during the baby's homecoming, according to the Panama City News Herald.
After arriving at the house where Ayers died Tuesday, police located a bullet hole in the sliding-glass door at the back of the family's home. They followed the bullet's path 200 feet, through thick brush, to Charles Shisler, 62, who lived in a house nearby and reportedly decided it would be a good idea to pick up his illegally owned semiautomatic weapon by the trigger, Raw Story reports:
When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found Shisler standing on his porch, although he initially was "belligerent" and uncooperative.
"The damn gun doesn't usually shoot," said Shisler, according to his arrest report. "You have to squeeze the hell out of the trigger to shoot it."
A blood test taken more than four hours after the shooting found that Shisler had a blood alcohol level of .079. The legal limit for driving in Florida is .08.
Shisler reportedly hid his gun under a mattress after the shooting. Police, who arrested him on multiple charges including manslaughter, reportedly recovered the gun but not its magazine.
As a felon, Shisler is not legally authorized to own a firearm. His previous conviction, in 2006, was for illegally carrying a concealed weapon.
Even police said they couldn't believe what happened. "The odds, I'd guess, are 1 in infinity," sheriff's deputy Tommy Ford told the News Herald. "This was just tragic."