Tyrell King

A Baton Rouge man was arrested after he accidentally pulled the trigger of a handgun he was unloading in the predawn hours Saturday, killing Carl Joseph James Jr., police said.

James was driving an SUV in the 8300 block of Scotland Avenue, between Scenic Highway and Swan Avenue, about 3 a.m. when he stopped at a red light, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

In the back seat behind James, Tyrell King, 21, 3032 Potomac Drive, was unloading a handgun when he accidentally pulled the trigger once, shooting James, 27, 10940 Williams Drive, Maringouin, in the back, McKneely said.

James stumbled out of the car, then fell to the ground in the median as the other five people in the SUV waited for paramedics, McKneely said.

Parish Emergency Medical Services personnel transported James to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives arrested King and booked him into Parish Prison on counts of negligent homicide and illegal use of a weapon, McKneely said.

Police are unsure why King had the gun out, McKneely said, adding King and the other four witnesses all told the same story about the gun accidentally going off.

McKneely said it will be up to prosecutors and a judge decide if King should be tried on negligent homicide or any other charges.

“He shouldn’t have had the gun out,” McKneely said.