Police: Friend killed in ‘senseless’ gun play

WATERBURY, Conn. — Gun play between two friends has left one of the men dead, according to police, who called the killing ‘‘senseless and preventable.’’

Dow Kling, 22, was shot in the chest in a Waterbury apartment Sunday as he and Shawn French took turns pointing a gun at each other and pulling the trigger, police said. Both men thought they were shooting blanks.


French, also 22, was charged Monday with first-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment. ‘‘I feel more guilty than anything I could think of,’’ he told WFSB-TV.

Witnesses in the residence told police they heard a loud popping sound, then saw Kling on the floor and French with a gun in his hand. He was described as ‘‘freaking out.’’

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French initially lied to police, saying he saw a man running from the home, the arrest warrant said. He later changed his story and admitted shooting Kling, police said.

French told investigators that he and Kling were playing with the pistol when Kling pointed the gun at his own chest and fired. That story changed when detectives told him it did not make sense, the Republican-American reported.

French said he pointed the gun at Kling and pulled the trigger, believing there was a blank round.


Waterbury Deputy Chief Chris Corbett said Kling’s death was ‘‘senseless and preventable.’’

French said Monday that he had known Kling since meeting him when the two were teens.

French, who posted a $25,000 bond after his arrest, appeared Monday in Waterbury Superior Court. He was ordered to surrender all firearms and police confiscated other guns, including the pistol suspected of being fired at Kling.

‘‘I have no intention of ever owning one again,’’ French told Judge Vernon Oliver.

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