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August 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

WWU student kills himself while playing with gun

BELLINGHAM — Bellingham police say a Western Washington University student died Friday after accidentally shooting himself in the head while playing with a gun he thought was unloaded.

The Bellingham Herald reports 22-year-old Justin Small died after being taken to St. Joseph Medical Center. Roommates told police the semi-automatic handgun had been locked in a safe that belonged to a roommate who had recently moved out. The others had been drinking when one of them found the key and opened it.

The Bellingham Herald said Small was from the Seattle area.

Police say the roommates had been taking pictures with another weapon and Small had been playing with the handgun. One roommate said he warned Small several times to check whether the gun was loaded. Sgt. Shawn Aiumu said police are investigating the incident but they are labeling it an accident.

| More in Education, The Blotter | Topics: Belllingham, Justin Small, Western Washington University

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