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Festus woman killed boyfriend with gun she thought wasn't loaded, police say

Festus woman killed boyfriend with gun she thought wasn't loaded, police say

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FESTUS • A woman fatally shot her boyfriend in the head with a gun she believed wasn’t loaded after drinking and smoking marijuana, according to charges filed Tuesday afternoon.

Jefferson County prosecutors charged Makenzie Halinski, 20, with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Cole Campbell, also 20.

Campbell was shot to death about 11 p.m. Monday in his basement bedroom in the 400 block of South Fifth Street in Festus.

Halinski, of the 1300 block of Meadow Brook Court in Festus, told Festus police in a recorded interview that Campbell had been showing her how to use guns and that he would always unload a gun and put the safety on before handing it to her, according to a probable cause statement.

Halinski also said that she and Campbell had been drinking and smoking marijuana Monday evening when Campbell handed her a gun and told her it was unloaded and the safety was on, according to court documents.

She said Campbell told her to point the gun toward him and said “shoot me.” Halinski said she did because she thought the gun wouldn’t fire, court documents say.

It did fire, and the bullet hit Campbell in the forehead. Halinski took off her shirt and applied pressure to the wound and gave Campbell CPR. Campbell’s father was at home during the shooting, but was upstairs.

When police arrived, Halinski was at first uncooperative and wouldn’t tell officers her name, court documents say.

Police found “several suspicious items” in the house and contacted the St. Louis County bomb and arson unit, Festus Police Chief Tim Lewis said Tuesday. Halinski was not charged with any crime related to the items. It was not clear late Tuesday what those items were.

Her bail was set at $7,500.

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