Friend accidentally shot, killed Bellingham city councilman’s son while ‘engaging in horeseplay’

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Police say the 23-year-old son of Bellingham City Councilman Terry Bornemann was shot and killed in an accidental shooting Thursday. His friend has been jailed on investigation of first-degree manslaughter.

Lt. Bob Vander Yacht says Aaron Bornemann and his friend, Masen Potter, were hanging out and handling a handgun together at a home Thursday night. He says the two were "engaging in horseplay" when Potter grabbed the handgun, pointed it at Bornemann's head and pulled the trigger.

According to police, Potter said he thought the gun was unloaded.

Bornemann was taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center where he died early Friday.

"All of us are going to feel a lot of pain for the Bordemann family," said Mayor Kelli Linville. "How do we prevent these tragedies.?That is a discussion our community will have."

The 21-year-old Potter was booked into Whatcom County Jail. His bail was set at $100,000.

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  • "peety"

    yet another senseless gun death. Why would anyone think having a gun is a good idea? More often then not, your family or you get killed.

    • Magnus

      Actually Peety that is not true. The ones who have the senseless gun deaths are those who do not treat the weapon as it should be, a tool. All too often it is treated as a toy. Any safety course or instruction manual for weapons teach to treat any gun as though it were loaded. The problem is not having a gun, the problem is having idiots who do not use them in the appropriate manner.

      IN fact, more people die from medical malpractice yearly than from gun related deaths. However gun deaths are far more spectacular and grisly.

      If you want proof of concept for mandatory training, look at Kennesaw, Georgia. In the last 25 years they have had 1 murder. In that same time period, New York has experienced 15,000 murders.
      I lived in Alaska for a period of time where the ratio of guns to people was 3-1, yet during the 10 year period I lived there,the only time it was reported a gun accident of this nature was when you had people acting foolishly like in this case.
      It’s not the guns, its the stupid people who think they are guns like in video games and who were not brought up to treat the weapons with the respect it deserves.

    • VoiceOfReason

      Seriously peety? The gun didn’t jump off the table and kill someone. The better question is why the gun was accessible to someone clearly too stupid to be left alone. I suppose we should ban cars too because a lot of 21 year olds die in them too. What we need is to ban stupid people from having children. This way 21 year olds are raised with some level of common sense eliminating a whole host of senseless deaths.

      • "peety"

        I believe you would rather license and control uterus’s rather than legislation that keeps guns safe, such as smart guns.

  • Doaner

    Assuming the victim was a willing participant, this falls under the category “thinning the herd”. Darwin scores again.

  • Wallus

    Don’t own any any more but I remember since I was 14 the cardinal, golden rule….ALWAYS treat EVERY gun as if it is loaded and ALWAYS remember they are never a toy.

  • The World is Ending

    Slam dunk man 1. Rules …You never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot. Every gun is “always loaded”.

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