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Police: Gun shop owner fatally shot worker in prank gone wrong

The word "shooting" written on a slate.
Nick Youngson
Alpha Stock Images

A South Carolina gun store owner faces a involuntary manslaughter charge after police say he shot one of his employees in the face in an attempted prank.

Jon Whitley, who owns Coastal Firearms in the Wando area, was arrested Monday nearly a month after the death of Stefan Mrgan.

Authorities found Mrgan inside the store's lobby with a gunshot wound to his lower face on Nov. 2, news outlets reported.

A police affidavit states that Whitley placed a replica Glock BB gun among real firearms in the store with the intent of pranking Mrgan. Instead, Whitley mistakenly picked up and fired a real gun at Mrgan, according to an incident report.

Whitley is a retired major in the South Carolina National Guard and former reserve deputy for the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, The Post and Courier reported.

Mrgan, 36, was a former member of the Army Special Forces, according to the newspaper.

Court records show Whitley was granted a $15,000 personal recognizance bond by a judge Monday.