18-Year-Old Charged With Manslaughter In Shooting Death Of Former OSU Student
STILLWATER, Oklahoma - An 18-year-old, who police said accidentally shot and killed a former Oklahoma State University student at a party, has been charged with manslaughter.
According to court documents, Tristen LeAnne Taylor, 18, was charged on Tuesday with first-degree manslaughter in connection to the death of 21-year-old Alex Vierling, a former OSU student who was shot and killed at a party in Stillwater.
According to an affidavit, on the evening of December 20, 2014, Vierling showed several people his revolver at a party at an apartment in the 500 block of S. West Street. He removed the cylinder and displayed a single bullet.
Taylor was sitting by Vierling on the couch. Police said Taylor saw the pistol on Vierling's left thigh and then had the gun in her hand. Vierling and Taylor talked about the gun, and Vierling said, “You won't shoot me with it.” Taylor then pointed the gun at Vierling and the gun fired, according to the affidavit.
According to police, the bullet struck Vierling in the forehead.
A witness reported seeing Taylor holding the revolver to Vierling's head after the shot was fired. Taylor then called 911 on her cellphone.
When officers arrived at the scene, Taylor reportedly raised her hands and shouted, “I shot him. It was an accident. I thought it was a toy and he said, ‘Shoot me.'” Police said Taylor had a significant amount of what appeared to be visible gunshot residue on her right hand index finger, middle finger and ring finger. She also had dried blood on her hands.
Taylor admitted to police that she had been drinking alcoholic beverages at the party. She said she asked Vierling why he had a gun and told him that she was going to take it from him. But Vierling said to Taylor that she had better not take the gun and asked her how drunk she was.
Taylor said she believed Vierling handed her the gun, and recalled Vierling saying, “You won't shoot me in the head with it.” She responded with, “It's not real. Why does it even matter?”
Taylor told police that the gun was in her hand. But she couldn't clearly recall pointing the pistol or pulling the trigger. She said she heard a loud pop and Vierling leaned over. She then saw blood coming from Vierling's nose.
According to police, Vierling suffered a gunshot wound to the forehead. He was transported to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he was later pronounced dead.
Taylor was arrested Wednesday afternoon.