Man survives gunshot to face, friend charged with culpable negligence

Jose Pena-Lopez was just “hanging out,” when he waved a loaded pistol out of his car window and accidentally shot his friend in the face early Friday.

Then he took off, according to police, discarded the gun along Okeechobee Road, and went to his home in Hialeah. Police found him there.

Pena-Lopez, 19, was arrested and charged with culpable negligence and tampering with physical evidence. His friend, 23-year-old Javier Enrique Pupo, was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he remains in stable condition.

“Stupid, fooling around,” Hialeah police Lt. Carl Zogby said.

Records from Miami-Dade Corrections show Pena-Lopez was booked into Turner Guilford Knight correctional center at 10:30 a.m. Friday. His bond was set at $6,000. His picture was not available.

Pena-Lopez’s arrest affidavit shows the incident took place at 1:45 a.m. Friday at 2201 W. Okeechobee Rd. Police said Pena-Lopez said he was sitting inside his vehicle when Pupo approached. Pena-Lopez waved the gun at his friend and pulled the trigger — thinking it was unloaded.

Hialeah police found Pena-Lopez at his home at 822 NW 26th Ave. The gun was later recovered from a canal off West 16th Avenue and Okeechobee Road in Hialeah.

“The investigation revealed this was the result of an accidental discharge due to the careless handling of a firearm,” Zogby said.