Man, 21, Kills Himself at His Birthday Party Just Moments After He Accidentally Shot His Best Friend

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
January 23, 2018Newsshare
Man, 21, Kills Himself at His Birthday Party Just Moments After He Accidentally Shot His Best Friend
Zachary Woodcock. (GoFundMe)

A 21-year-old Michigan man shot himself in a successful suicide just moments after accidentally shooting his best friend to death, police said.

Zachary Woodcock was celebrating his 21st birthday in Merrill when he shot his best friend Richard Cody Skillman, also 21, in the chest while playing with a gun.

Moments later, Woodcock shot himself, Lt. Mike Gomez told MLive.

Skillman died on the scene, at the Bavarian Haus Apartments.

The shootings took place just before 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19.

Woodcock was rushed to the hospital but later died.

All the people at the party had been drinking, Gomez said.

Then Woodcock went to his bedroom and retrieved a gun.

“He went into his bedroom, came back out, had a handgun, the handgun went off and struck Mr. Skillman in the chest,” Gomez said, reported ABC12.

Both 21-year-olds liked guns, with 10 guns being removed from the apartment and Skillman’s car in total.

“Anytime there is alcohol involved and guns, that is a bad mix and almost nothing good is ever going to come of it,” Gomez said.

Extended family members of Woodcock have reached out via GoFundMe asking for funds for his funeral.

“This weekend brought unfathomable loss and excruciating pain to the Woodcock/Topham family. Zachary Allyn Woodcock passed away on Saturday, January 20th after a tragic accident. With unexpected loss comes unexpected expenses,” wrote Jan von Reichbauer.

“As extended family members, we are setting up this memorial fund to help cover expenses for Zach. We are reaching out to request help from anyone that would like to extend support in this manner to help his family cover costs associated with healthcare and memorial expenses. After all expenses for Zachary are paid, all remaining funds will be donated to the Gift of Life organ donation program.”


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