Fla. Man, 23, Allegedly Shot Twin Brother in Face, Killing Him Just After They 'Talked and Joked'

Benjamin VanHoose
·2-min read

Pinellas County, Fla., Jail/AP/Shutterstock Thomas Parkinson-Freeman

A man has been charged with manslaughter after allegedly shooting and killing his twin brother while they aimed guns at each other.

According to Florida's Gulfport Police Department, 23-year-old Thomas Parkinson-Freeman and his brother Mathias were sitting in a parked 1995 Nissan Pathfinder vehicle with a mutual friend outside their home during the incident.

They "talked and joked" just before the shooting, police said, and there was "no indication of any sort of conflict."

Mathias presented a concealed handgun and pointed it at Thomas, according to authorities. Thomas allegedly reacted by pulling out a handgun of his own, pointing it at his sibling. He then pulled the trigger, police said, and Mathias was "mortally wounded after being struck in the face when the gun discharged."

Thomas was booked at the Pinellas County jail on Monday and charged with manslaughter, a felony of the second degree. He was released later that day on a $30,000 bond, according to jail records.

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It was not immediately clear if Thomas has an attorney for PEOPLE to reach for comment.

Authorities said Thomas had on a gun belt during the time of the incident and had been wearing the holster that was left over from his time working as a security officer for Dunbar Armored. Police believe he wore the belt with a "personally-owned firearm, to show it off to others."

"Detectives concluded that Thomas was not acting in self-defense when he drew and fired his gun because he told detectives that he was not in fear and that he did not believe Mathias had any intention of shooting him," said Gulfport police in a press release.

"Thomas said that he reacted automatically based on training and that he does not know why he did so," they added.