Man Charged with Accidentally Shooting Friend at Party after Playing with the Gun in Live Video
A Cleveland, Ohio, man has been arrested for fatally shooting a friend during a dinner party last week, PEOPLE confirms
A Cleveland, Ohio, man has been arrested for fatally shooting a friend during a dinner party on Thursday, PEOPLE confirms.
Steven Leannais, 30, is charged with third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter in the allegedly accidental shooting of 27-year-old Anthony Stanford II. He has not yet entered a plea, though his attorney said the incident was “tragic.”
Leannais had been drinking on the night of the shooting, police allege.
Before the shooting, he allegedly live-streamed the party on Facebook Live. A person who viewed the recording – which was posted before the shooting — then released the video to Cleveland.com.
In the video, Leannais and another man, who has not been identified, are seen brandishing a handgun as they crack jokes. The video shows discussion about whether the gun is loaded. At one point, Leannais grabs the gun from the other man and removes the clip.
“There you go,” Leannais says in the video. “Now it’s not loaded.”
The other man then jokingly sticks the gun in his mouth. “The last thing they say is always, ‘I didn’t know it was loaded,’ ” the man jokes. In response, Leannais holds up the clip of hollow-point bullets to the camera to prove that the gun isn’t loaded.
About a minute into the video, Stanford arrives at the party. The men crack more jokes as the video ends.
One Bullet Left in the Chamber
Police say that, although the gun’s clip had been removed, there was still one bullet left in the chamber. According to court documents, Leannais picked the gun up and pulled the trigger, unaware that there was still one bullet left in the chamber. The bullet hit Stanford in the upper abdomen.
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After the shooting, according to documents, Stanford ran out of the house. Leannais followed after him, calling 911.
Stanford was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later. (Stanford’s family could not immediately be reached.)
According to documents, investigators tested Leannais’ blood alcohol content about three hours after the shooting and his BAC tested at 0.058, apparently indicating that he was legally impaired at the time that Stanford was shot.
Shooter ‘Is Extremely Sorry’: Attorney
Defense attorney Leif Christman told reporters that Leannais, his client, is distraught about the shooting.
“It’s so tragic,” Christman said, according to Cleveland.com. “His friend is deceased. He hasn’t eaten or slept since it happened. He needs to get counseling.”
Christman, who did not return PEOPLE’s call seeking comment, also said that Leannais was “extremely sorry for what happened and extends his condolences to Anthony’s mother. If there was any to trade places, he’d gladly do it.”