SAPD: Former soldier says he thought gun wasn't loaded


by Noelle Gardner and Mayra Moreno / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @mayramorenokens

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 3 at 12:56 PM

A former member of the U.S. Army has been arrested after a man was found dead Sunday inside a northwest-side apartment.

Investigators initially suspected that the incident was an accidental shooting, but their investigation led them to a different conclusion.

San Antonio police arrested Philip Pavelko, 25, on manslaughter charges. The victim, Aaron Talley, 25, was found dead inside an apartment in the 3300 block of Timber View.

According to court documents, Talley was struck by a gunshot allegedly fired by Pavelko in the dining room of his home.

The alleged shooter and a witness were brought to police headquarters after the deadly shooting.

According to the warrant, Pavelko told detectives he'd had dinner that evening with Talley and another friend.

After dinner, Pavelko said he and the victim were joking around in the dining room area when he removed his shotgun from a wall-mounted gun rack.

He worked the pump action on the shotgun and pointed the barrel of the gun at the chest of the victim, pulling the trigger. Police said Talley was struck in the chest and died at the scene.

Pavelko said he had no idea the gun was loaded, police said.

According to the arrest warrant, Pavelko admitted he is an avid outdoorsman and has been around guns and hunting most of his life.

He also said he has extensive knowledge of guns and was had completed three tours of active duty in Iraq for the U.S. Army.