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He thought a gun was empty, but it wasn’t, police said. Now he faces a murder charge

A 21-year-old Fresno man pleaded not guilty to murder on Thursday after shooting his friend with what he thought was an unloaded gun.

Savon Lollie, appearing in Fresno County Superior Court on Thursday, was arrested by Fresno police in the early morning of May 12 in the killing of 20-year-old Irie Tucker.

If found guilty of first degree murder charge, including a gun enhancement, he’ll face 50-years-to-life in state prison.

Court documents reveal Lollie was at a small party at Tucker’s brothers’ house in the 1800 block of East Jensen Avenue with several of his friends.

He and a few others began hanging out in the kitchen, when Lollie and a friend brought out two handguns.

One of the guns, a 9 mm Smith & Wesson belonged to Lollie, while the other weapon was a .45 caliber Springfield that belonged to someone else at the party.

Lollie and a fellow party goer began playing with the guns, pretending to be cowboys and practicing their quick draw technique, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant by Fresno detectives.

Lollie told police he unloaded the guns and took the clips out. But as he raised the .45 caliber gun and aimed it into the kitchen, he squeezed the trigger and it fired, hitting Tucker in the shoulder area, the affidavit states.

Tucker fell to the floor and Lollie ran from the home. He ended up nearly 2 miles away at a dairy processing plant on E Street in downtown Fresno. There, he called 911 shortly before 4 a.m. to report the shooting.

“While officers were contacting Lollie, he was crying and yelling and continuously saying he was very sorry...” wrote Fresno Police Officer Ben Barnes in the affidavit. “He was yelling, ‘I’m sorry Irie.’”

Tucker was taken to Community Regional Medical Center where he died that morning.

A witness at the party told police he got upset when he saw the two men playing with the guns and he told them to stop. They did, but about 20 minutes later the witness said he heard a gunshot and saw Tucker fall to the floor. He also saw Lollie standing next to him with a gun and then he saw him run out of the house, according to the affidavit.

Other people at the party were also interviewed and everyone said there was no arguing or fighting leading up to the shooting.

Detectives seized 10 cell phones to try and capture any data including social media posts, text messages, videos or pictures to help them piece together what happened.

Lollie’s next court appearance is Aug. 29. He remains in jail on a $1.5 million bond.

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