Man who shot dead his best friend cleared of murder

Jordan Bassett, left, says he was "devastated" by the death of Addison Packeer

A man who killed his best friend when a loaded gun he was “messing about with” went off and shot him in the head was cleared of murder on Monday.

Jordan Bassett, 25, killed Addison Packeer in December 2018 at a property in Coventry in the West Midlands. He has admitted manslaughter and will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Bassett told Warwick Crown Court during his trial that Packeer “was just messing around with the firearm, just playing around with it in his hand.” The gun had belonged to Packeer.

The recovered weapon used in the shooting, a 9mm Luger pistol

“While I was eating my food he was pointing the firearm around, and he pointed it at my knee, and I told him to move it away.”

Bassett then said that he had put on a pair of gloves and picked up the gun himself.

“I was just pointing the firearm around, messing around. I didn’t think it was loaded. The magazine was on the table.

Police recover the weapon used in the shooting

"I turned round to Addison, and the gun’s gone off. When Addison was messing around with it he’d told me it wasn’t loaded.”

After shooting Packeer in the head, Bassett had tried to staunch the bleeding with a towel.

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“I put the towel on the wound, I put a cushion on the settee and laid him in the recovery position to try to help him as much as I could. He was my friend.”

Bassett subsequently disposed of the gun by throwing it into a quarry near his home, and changed out of his clothes.

Jordan Bassett hands himself into police

He then handed himself in to West Midlands Police, admitting to the killing.

“I didn’t have anything to hide. I wanted to tell the truth about what happened,” Bassett said under cross-examination by his barrister.

“Words can’t describe how I feel. Devastated, a life is lost. Addison was my friend. I would never want to hurt him.”

Jordan Bassett's mug shot from after his arrest

Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield said: "We might never know exactly what happened in the flat, but the reality is that anyone who gets involved with firearms is putting themselves and others in serious danger.

"Here we have a man who has shot dead his best friend. Two families will have to live with the consequences of that for the rest of their lives."