TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Over a closed circuit TV signal, 20 year old Ryan Wilhelm had his first appearance in court. Wilhelm faces a manslaughter charge for the accidental shooting death of FSU Sophomore Ashley Cowie.
Wilhelm was showing his rifle to a group of friends at his fraternity house Sunday morning when the weapon discharged. A round pierced Ashley’s chest. She died on the scene.
“My condolences go out to her sorority, her family. It’s just tragic that she had to die so young,” said Jessica Beaugris a senior from Miami.
While students are mourning the loss of one of their classmates, state lawmakers are working on legislation to allow people with permits to carry guns on campus.
National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer says the shooting shouldn’t slow down the legislation. She points out that it happened off campus in a fraternity house where guns are banned.
Hammer says the legislation is about self-defense. “With shootings on campus, they are essentially a gun-free zone and in a gun-free zone the good guys don’t have a chance.”
The bill would only allow people with conceal carry permits, who must be 21, to carry guns. It wouldn’t allow guns to be stored in dorms.
Still, sophomore Josh Orendorf doesn’t like it. “If I’m not carrying a gun then there is less of a chance that I’m going to be involved in any shooting at all and I think it’s the same for everyone involved.”
Wilhelm was released on 25-thousand dollars bond early Monday morning.
Ashley Crowie was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority.
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