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by: Chase Laudenslager
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A Berkeley County gun shop owner fatally shot his friend after mistaking his Glock 17 for a bb-gun, according to an incident report.
Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies responded Tuesday to Coastal Firearms on Cainhoy Road where they found Stefan Mrgan with a gunshot wound to the face. Mrgan died from his injury.
The owner of the store, Jon Whitley, told deputies that he mistook his Glock for a bb-gun and accidentally shot his friend and part-time employee.
A witness said that the men were talking normally when he heard a loud bang and then saw Mrgan fall to the ground. The witness ran to Mrgan, secured Mrgan’s weapon, and began first aid until EMS arrived, according to the report.
Deputies took Whitely’s firearm as evidence and conducted a search of the store. The store is “temporarily closed” according to signage posted on the windows. It is unclear if or when it will reopen.
No charges have been filed as of Friday.
Mrgan’s widow told WCBD News that their family is in shock. She described the incident as an anomaly, saying that most gun shops have strict safety standards. But this deviation from those standards left three children without a father.
Mgran was no stranger to guns, having served in the Army for 15 years as a special forces sniper. He was big on gun safety, teaching even his six-year-old child about the power of the weapon.
He was also a retired fire fighter, a scuba diver, a husband, and a dad.
Mgran’s widow said that she wants people to know about the man that her husband was and the human consequences that accidents can have.
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