TEXAS CITY

A 22-year-old woman pointed a recently purchased handgun at a friend on Tuesday and shot him in the head, police allege.

The case began with a 911 call during which officers were told the man had been shot when a gun fell off a dresser and discharged when it hit the ground, police said.

Mary Christine Russell, 22, of Texas City, was arrested and charged with manslaughter, according to the Texas City Police Department. She was held on $40,000 bond and was in custody at the Galveston County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.

Russell is accused of shooting and killing Ryan Hodges, 30, inside a home on Fourth Avenue North about 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Texas City Police Department spokesman Cpl. Allen Bjerke said.

Hodges was transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was declared dead, Bjerke said.

Police continued to question Russell on Tuesday evening and eventually came to suspect she had pointed the handgun at Hodges and pulled the trigger, Bjerke said.

Russell told investigators she had recently purchased the gun and she didn’t realize it was loaded, police allege.

Another man in the house at the time of the shooting was cooperating with police, Bjerke said.

Manslaughter in Texas is applied when a person “recklessly causes the death of another individual,” according to the Texas Penal Code. It carries a punishment of between two and 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Manslaughter is different from murder, which is charged when prosecutors believe they can prove a person acted with intent to kill.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(2) comments

Terry Moore

Her careless actions looks like she messed up her kids lives and his.

James Dickinson

There is a lot more to this story.

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