SALT LAKE CITY – A Hooper man who accidentally shot and killed his brother at Yuba Lake spoke to FOX 13 about that night and what he hopes others will learn from his tragedy.
Eric Charlton, 27, was at Yuba Lake with his brother Cameron, 17, and another teen on Memorial Day weekend in 2012. Eric was demonstrating firearm techniques with his Colt .45 handgun when he picked up the gun and swung it towards Cameron.
The gun accidentally went off, killing Cameron. Eric says he’d pulled the magazine out of the gun, but didn’t know there was a live round still in it.
“I reached over and grabbed the gun and I grabbed the holster and went like this and it caught. I pulled it harder and it came out and hit Cameron’s shoulder. I limp wristed into the trigger and the gun went off,” Eric said.
Police say Eric’s blood alcohol level at the time of the shooting was .06.
“It was a little bit of alcohol but enough to maybe alter my judgment,” Eric said.
As part of his sentencing, Eric must speak to various groups about the dangers of mixing alcohol and firearms.
“Maybe it’ll change their life. Maybe they’ll say, ‘This isn’t good, I shouldn’t mix these two things,’” he said.
Eric will report to the Juab County Jail on Friday to serve 90 days for his brother’s death. But even though his sentence will soon be over, Eric says he’ll never get over that night.
“I relive it every day, it plays through my mind and I can’t get it out,” he said. “It’s one of the most horrible, horrific things you’d have to see. Especially it being your best friend, your brother.”
Eric’s wife and two young children will be supported by extended family during his 90-day stay in jail.