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Alexandria man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter after accidental shooting in Lynhaven neighborhood

Police at a sudden death investigation on E. Reed Avenue (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria resident Junior Josue Espinal Calix, 20, pleaded guilty last week to involuntary manslaughter after accidentally shooting 21-year-old Nabel Christopher Chavez earlier this year.

Calix said he frequently played with the firearm and aimed it at Chavez, thinking it was unloaded, according to a release from Commonealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.

According to Porter:

The investigation showed that in the early afternoon of February 17, 2023, the Defendant shot Nabel in the head with a Polymer80 9mm pistol. The shooting happened in a private residence on E. Reed Avenue in the City of Alexandria.

The Defendant and Nabel, who were acquainted with one another, were inside of the residence. The investigation revealed the shooting occurred after the Defendant intentionally pointed a gun he believed was unloaded at Nabel and pulled the trigger. The Defendant told the police he frequently engaged in “play” with the firearm, that the shooting occurred while he was “playing” with it, and that he believed he had emptied the chamber of the firearm and removed the magazine prior to the shooting and did not know how a round remained in the chamber.

Nabel suffered one gunshot wound to the right side of his face and was pronounced dead on the scene. Evidence confirmed the accidental nature of the shooting.

Calix was released on bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for a hearing on Dec. 21. The maximum penalty for involuntary manslaughter is 10 years.

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