Reckless use of Firearm Kills Clovis Man

Elvis Hernandez, 30, Reedley. (Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

A Sunday night gathering left one man dead in an accidental shooting. The incident took place in Tollhouse, 26 miles northeast of Clovis.

The victim was identified as 23-year-old Bradly Smith of Clovis.

On Sunday, Dec. 13 at roughly 10:30 p.m., the Fresno County Sheriff’s dispatch received a call regarding a person being shot at a residence on the 28000 block of Burrough Valley Road in Tollhouse.

First responders arrived at the scene and performed life saving measures but Smith eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Deputies detained 30-year-old Elvis Hernandez of Reedley and a person nicknamed “Tim” for questioning. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Tim’s real name will not be revealed due to privacy reasons.

Once detained, both Hernandez and Tim gave accounts on what led to the incident.

The three friends gathered at a house to drink alcohol. After drinking, the three began handling firearms that were stored at the residence.

They eventually found some rubber bullets and began loading a shotgun and shooting each other for fun.

During horseplay, Hernandez grabbed a different shotgun thinking it was loaded with rubber bullets and shot Smith in the upper torso.

Smith went down and began bleeding profusely. At this time they called 9-1-1.

During the investigation, it was discovered Smith was shot with a round of buckshot. According to detectives, Hernandez may have mistakenly loaded a buckshot bullet rather than a rubber bullet.

He was arrested and booked into Fresno County Jail for the shooting and killing of Smith. He is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge. His bail is set at $10,000.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement regarding the accidental shooting:

This is a tragedy, but it is one that was completely preventable. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of the importance of firearms safety. No one should ever point a gun at another person, unless they or another person’s life is in danger. Regardless of whether the gun is real or fake, loaded or unloaded, everyone should treat firearms with respect and never handle them in a negligent manner.

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