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Police: Airman dead in ‘Trust' game

Dec. 15, 2009 - 05:35PM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 15, 2009 - 05:35PM  |  
Senior Airman Michael Garcia, 23, an intelligence analyst with the 55th Operations Support Squadron, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head in a Bellevue, Neb., apartment.
Senior Airman Michael Garcia, 23, an intelligence analyst with the 55th Operations Support Squadron, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head in a Bellevue, Neb., apartment. (COURTESY PHOTO)
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Airman 1st Class Corey Hernandez, 21, a voice network apprentice with the 55th Communications Squadron, was arrested by the Bellevue, Neb., police and charged with manslaughter and use of a weapon to commit a felony. (COURTESY PHOTO)

An airman from Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., allegedly shot and killed another airman Friday while the two were playing a game with a handgun.

Senior Airman Michael Garcia, 23, an intelligence analyst with the 55th Operations Support Squadron, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head in a Bellevue, Neb., apartment.

Airman 1st Class Corey Hernandez, 21, a voice network apprentice with the 55th Communications Squadron, was arrested by the Bellevue, Neb., police and charged with manslaughter and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

The news Web site Examiner.com quoted Bellevue police as saying Garcia was killed after a night of drinking with Air Force friends. Police said Hernandez apparently shot and killed Garcia while the two were playing "Trust," a game similar to Russian roulette, according to the Examiner story.

Police say Hernandez was among three men in the apartment with Garcia at the time of the shooting, which was reported just before 1 a.m. Friday.

The Air Force would not comment on the apparent cause of the killing.

Hernandez is in police custody, but it is not yet clear whether he will be tried by civilian or military authorities.

"Sarpy County has jurisdiction in this case and the 55th Wing is fully cooperating with them," Offutt spokesman Ryan Hansen said in an e-mail. "As the investigation is still ongoing, we cannot say at this time whether or not he'll be tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

Hansen would not comment on whether the airmen were playing a game involving a weapon.

"I will say that all active-duty members of the Air Force receive weapons safety training as part of their enlisted careers," he said.

Hansen said Garcia's death is being felt by the entire base.

"We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones, and the loss of one of our own affects all of us," he said.

Related coverage

* http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/09/marine_trust_090709w/">Marine Corps Times: Can deadly ‘Trust' game be stopped?

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