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Soldier shoots self while 'playing' with gun

Three teenagers witnessed tragedy

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POSTED: August 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Mike Riddle/

A towel lays where Deveran Lee Owen, 22, apparently died from a gunshot wound to the head.

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LUDOWICI —— A Fort Stewart soldier was found dead Wednesday night in front of a mobile home in what Long County Sheriff Department officials are calling an accidental self-inflicted shooting.
Three teenagers reportedly witnessed the tragedy that occurred in their neighborhood.
According to LCSD Deputy Shane Middleton, he arrived at the home of John Wells Jr. on Deana Circle, in the Rye Patch area shortly before 10 p.m.
Middleton said he found Deveran Lee Owen, 22, lying on the ground.  Middleton said that Owen was not responsive and had a wound to his head.
The deputy reported that and ambulance arrived shortly after he did, but that the EMTs were unable to get a response or revive the soldier.
LCSD Investigator Nickey Anderson reportedly said Owen had died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right temple.
Owen was assigned to Fort Stewart, and lived on the base. He had returned from a deployment to Iraq earlier this month.
Anderson came to the conclusion based on witness reports that Owen had been playing with a semi-automatic pistol in front of the teenagers, putting the clip in and out and putting the gun to his head and pulling the trigger.
The owner of the gun, John Richard Brumley, 24, said he bought the 45- caliber gun earlier that day, and had taken it away from Owen earlier and put the pistol in his truck. He said he told Owen to stop playing with the pistol in front of the youths.
According to Anderson, the teenagers said Brumley went back into the residence, and Owen got the gun out of the truck and once again began playing with it. The witnesses said the soldier then put the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger, firing a shot into his right temple.
Brumley said he was going back outside when he heard a shot, and found Owen on the ground. He began CPR until the EMS unit.
According to Anderson, the body was taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah for an autopsy. The investigator believes alcohol may have contributed to the accident. Anderson said they are investigating the incident as an accidental shooting.
 

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