DINWIDDIE COUNTY, VIRGINIA — Having a best friend is one of life’s treasures. There is a special unique relationship that exists which separates friend from best friend. Losing a best friend is never an easy thing; now imagine killing your best friend. This Virginia man did just that, and it all comes back to his irresponsibility with a firearm.
Sharpf, awakened by the noise, went to the door and saw a silhouette of a person outside, the newspaper reported. Believing it was an intruder, Sharpf, armed with a handgun, fired a shot through the front door that struck Hankins, Knott said.
Hankins was killed instantly.Via Newsbreak
I have been best friends with the same person since preschool. It is a rare blessing to be best friends with someone for that long. Despite growing up, getting careers, getting families, and moving thousands of miles away from each other, we remain part of each others daily lives.
Matt Sharpf and Jonathan Hankins may not have been friends since preschool, but they played a big role in each others lives. Anytime you lose a friend like that it’s tragic; but to be the one that caused their death? That is a pain I couldn’t even imagine. Yet for Matt Sharpf and Jonathan Hankins, that is exactly what happened.
Irresponsible Gun Owner
Sharpf and his family were asleep when he heard a noise outside his house near the front door. Sharpf got out of bed to find out what the noise was. He retrieved a firearm to protect himself and his family in case he discovered a dangerous situation. So far so good.
However, this is where things go bad. Upon seeing a silhouette outside the front door, Matt Sharpf decided to blast away. He fired a shot right through the front door aimed at the mysterious silhouette outside. Without trying to identify who was out there or what they wanted, Sharpf just fired his gun. Without calling the police or assessing the threat, Sharpf just decided to shoot right through the front door.
Unfortunately, that person outside was his best friend Jonathan Hankins. We don’t know why Hankins was outside, and we may never know. Had Sharpf used some responsible gun ownership discipline, his best friend would still be alive.
If you hear a suspicious noise, by all means investigate and take your firearm with you. If you see a potential threat, call the police immediately for help. If you are not in immediate danger, don’t engage; wait for the police. The number four rule of gun safety is to know your target and what is behind it. If you don’t know what you are shooting at, don’t shoot!
We know Sharpf had the best intentions, but had he followed these best practices he would not have to live the rest of his life regretting taking his best friends life. Be a responsible gun owner and learn the rules of gun safety and best practices for home defense and engagement.