Crime

Thinking gun isn’t loaded, he pulls trigger — and kills friend

Rahsaan Smith, 18, was charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of his friend on New Year’s Eve.
Rahsaan Smith, 18, was charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of his friend on New Year’s Eve.

A Cutler Bay man recently bought a new gun. On New Year’s Eve — only a half hour before midnight — he showed the gun to a teenaged friend, police said. They were in the bedroom of the man’s home.

Before handing the gun to his friend, police said, Roland Von Whitaker, 20, removed the magazine. Likely believing the gun was not loaded, Rahsaan Smith, 18, took the gun and pulled the trigger.

The result was tragic.

There was a single bullet in the chamber. The bullet struck Von Whitaker, who was killed.

Then Smith, police said, made a bad situation even worse: He told police that the shooting happened at another location and that another man wearing dark clothing was the shooter.

He later admitted, police said, to lying about that and pointed officers to the gun under his mattress. Eventually, police said, Smith admitted to the shooting in the bedroom of his home at 20549 SW 93rd Ave.

At 2:30 that Sunday morning, Smith was arrested and charged with killing Von Whitaker with a deadly weapon. Smith is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight correctional center.

His bond is set at $100,000.

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