19-year-old Lacie LaRose is dead after an alleged argument about beer pong rules resulted in gunfire at a college graduation party. The man responsible for the death, 39-year-old Ronald McNeil, is currently being held on $500,000 bail and claims that the shooting was an accident. McNeil says he just meant to scare the kids who didn’t get how to play beer pong correctly.
The New York Daily News reports that McNeil and several of his friends were uninvited guests at the party of Texas A&M graduate Landon Duke in early May. Duke told The Eagle that McNeil should have never been at the party in the first place. According to Duke, he and a friend went door-to-door in the neighborhood letting people know that a party was happening and to let Duke know if it got too loud. McNeil took that as an invitation, which Duke says he never intended to extend.
The graduate and his friends allowed McNeil and his friends to stay but trouble began around 1am when Duke and McNeil’s friends got into a physical altercation about the rules of beer pong. The party crashers were asked to leave (with punches being thrown) and McNeil threatened to come back with a gun. Duke didn’t believe him.
From The Eagle:
“We’re a bunch of college kids. We didn’t think anything was really going to happen. Just to be safe, we closed the garage door anyway,” Duke said in a recent phone interview.
McNeil, who claims that he and his friends were assaulted with racial slurs as they were leaving, came back with his gun. He ran up to the house and fired off 14 shots, fatally injuring LaRose, who was shot in the neck and died a short time later. A policeman down the street apprehended McNeil a short while later and he remains in jail.
According to The Eagle, McNeil has stated that the shooting was a complete accident and that he just meant to scare the partiers with his gun. Somehow, it ended up going off accidentally. 15 times. Incidentally, that’s near impossible.
Chief Deputy James Stewart with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Department said he carried a .40-caliber Glock pistol as his sidearm for about 20 years and that it is one of the safest and most reliable weapons used by law enforcement.
“It’s just about impossible [for the gun to fire] if your finger is not on the trigger,” said Stewart, who is not involved with the investigation. “The safety on a Glock is in the trigger. It’s not going to go off with some small movement or by dropping it. You have to do something.”
McNeil is being charged with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and felony deadly conduct charge.
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Image via Brazos County Judicial Records