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Andrew Pittman

A man accused of accidentally killing a friend he claimed had undressed inside his home without his consent was arrested in the shooting after bringing his neighbor a note to call 911 because he was recovering from a throat surgery that prevented him from speaking.

Andrew Pittman, 68, was booked into jail on negligent homicide, Baton Rouge police said Friday. Norman Richardson, 60, was shot during the struggle and later transported to the hospital, where he later died, said police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr.

The shooting occurred not long before 8 p.m. Thursday. McKneely said the two men engaged in a brief struggle inside Pittman's home. His listed address is 9643 Balboa Drive, which is a residential neighborhood between Bluebonnet Boulevard and Staring Lane in south Baton Rouge.

Pittman's arrest report reveals additional details about the incident, including that the two men were friends. Richardson arrived at Pittman's house Thursday evening and asked to use the phone, detectives wrote in the affidavit of probable cause.

The affidavit also notes that Pittman has trouble speaking because he has had a tracheotomy, which involves inserting a breathing tube into a person's trachea. The procedure often hinders speech. Detectives said Pittman answered their questions with a written statement. 

Pittman told police that after his friend asked to use the phone, he went in the other room to get it. When he came back to the den area, Richardson was "completely naked," according to the arrest report. Pittman said he told Richardson to put his clothes on and leave, but Richardson wasn't complying.

That's when Pittman got his gun, saying he's sick and couldn't physically confront his friend to make him leave, according to the report. He grabbed Richardson's arm and tried to force him out the door, but Richardson was stronger and the two tussled. The gun went off when Richardson grabbed Pittman's right arm, police said.

Pittman went across the street and gave his neighbor a note asking him to call 911. 

Police said the 911 call was in reference to a male with labored breathing. Emergency crews arrived at Pittman's house and found Richardson, who was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the arrest report. He was later pronounced dead.

The caller told authorities he had a note from the man who shot Richardson, which led detectives to his home where the shooting had occurred, according to the report. Police searched the house and found clothes that appear to have belonged to Richardson as well as a loaded revolver on the bed.

Pittman was detained and brought in for questioning.

"Mr. Pittman advised that it was not his intent to shoot the victim," detectives wrote in the affidavit. "At no time did Mr. Pittman indicate he was in fear of his life or bodily injury."

He was later booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Bail was set at $5,000.

Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.