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Man Commits Suicide At His 21st Birthday After Accidentally Shooting Best Friend To Death

After realizing he may have killed his best friend, he left the party to kill himself.

By Gina Tron

A party that was supposed to celebrate a milestone of a young man’s life ended in tragedy in Saginaw County, Michigan. On Friday night, birthday boy Zachary Woodcock (pictured, left) and his friends were drinking at his apartment. Woodcock was about to turn 21 in just a matter of hours. At some point in the night, Woodcock went to his bedroom to get his handgun.

According to WJRT, the gun went off. It hit his best friend Richard Skillman, 21.

"He went into his bedroom, came back out, had a handgun, the handgun went off and struck Mr. Skillman in the chest," Saginaw County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Gomez said, adding that the pair were inseparable.

A partygoer who wanted to remain anonymous told WJRT, “I heard the gun pop off. I heard yelling and screaming and I came down to see if I could assist anybody."

As friends tried to help Skillman, Woodcock left the apartment. He shot himself just minutes later.

"They heard a shot, walked out and there he was," Gomez said.

Skillman died at the scene, MLive reported. Woodcock died later, over the weekend, at a hospital.

Gomez said that both were gun aficionados. Ten guns were removed from the home and from Skillman’s car, which was parked at the scene.

"They were each armed with multiple guns," Gomez said. "Anytime there is alcohol involved and guns, that is a bad mix and almost nothing good is ever going to come of it.”

According to his obituary, Skillman worked as a truck driver and loved to hunt and fish.

“He was good at tinkering and restoring old equipment. Cody also enjoyed woodworking and making duck calls,” it reads.

Woodcock’s obituary also describes him as a truck driver who loved hunting, fishing, camping and motorcycles.

“Zachary had a huge heart and often put others before himself,” the obituary states. “This was evident by his choice to be an organ donor through the Gift of Life Foundation. Because of Zachary's gifts at least six lives will be saved.”

[Photo: GoFundMe, Facebook]

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