Judge sets bond for gun store owner charged in employee’s shooting death

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 2:48 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 1:25 AM EST
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A judge set bond for a Berkeley County gun store owner charged in the shooting death of an employee he told deputies he intended to “prank” with a BB gun.

Jon Whitley was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter in the Nov. 2 shooting death of an employee at Coastal Firearms on Cainhoy Road, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

A judge set bond Monday morning at $15,000, court records state.

An incident report identified Whitley as the owner of the store and identified the victim of the shooting as 36-year-old Stefan Mrgan. Mrgan suffered a gunshot wound in his lower face, deputies said.

An affidavit states Whitley told deputies he brought a replica Glock BB gun into the store and placed it among other real firearms “with the intent of pranking his friend, the victim.” Whitley mistakenly picked up a real firearm instead of the replica, pointed it at the victim and fired, the affidavit states.

“The defendant’s actions, although accidental, were wanton, reckless, without regard for the safety of the victim and constitute a departure from common firearm safety practices,” the affidavit states.

Whitley handed a Glock 17 and magazine to the responding deputy after the deputy asked about the location of the firearm involved in the incident.

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