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Man was shot while brother showed 'firearm techniques,' report states

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YUBA LAKE STATE PARK — As soon as the shot was fired, Eric Charlton screamed for someone to call 911 and "help him save his brother."

Charlton, 27, tried to apply pressure to 17-year-old Cameron Bryce Charlton's head where he was bleeding and had another teen do chest compressions as he administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to a police report released Tuesday.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Eric Wayne Charlton, of West Haven in Weber County, was arrested Monday for investigation of manslaughter after police say he shot and killed his brother while they were sitting around a campfire with his brother's 16-year-old friend. The shooting, which occurred about 3:30 a.m., appeared to be accidental. He was released from the Juab County Jail after posting bail.

Eric Charlton, who is in the military, told investigators he was showing his brother "different firearms techniques," the Juab County sheriff's report states. He said he "dropped the magazine out of the weapon" and emptied the chamber.

After he was done, he told police he put the magazine back in the .45-caliber handgun, "but does not remember charging the weapon with a live round in the chamber," the report states.

"He then said he placed the weapon on the ground and was talking to his brother about trust. He said he picked the gun up and swung it towards his brother when the weapon discharged, striking his brother in the left temple."

The group had been drinking beer prior to the shooting and Eric Charlton had also been drinking rum, according to the report.

Charlton told sheriff's investigators he was "surprised" the weapon went off and did not remember when he put a round in the chamber.

Deputies say Charlton was extremely distraught over the shooting.


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Pat Reavy


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