PORT ST. LUCIE — Schadrac Honord and his younger brother were over at Wilton Nisbeth's home Thursday.
Honord, 21, and Nisbeth were best friends from high school. Nisbeth and his wife, Hayley Nisbeth — both U.S. Marines — had just come back from Japan after serving two years, Wilton Nisbeth's mother, Rhona Mentis, said Friday.
The Nisbeths were packing to drive to Montana with their young child to visit Hayley Nisbeth's parents before traveling to California, where they would be stationed. Another friend, Miguel Lopez, and another child also were there. Wilton Nisbeth had a gun for protection on the trip, Mentis said.
"They were just sitting, talking, having a good old time," Mentis said.
It would not be long before Honord would be fatally shot in the side, and his 18-year-old brother, Evans Honord, would be in jail on a homicide/negligent manslaughter charge. According to Evans Honord's arrest affidavit, he told police he "played" with the gun briefly after Wilton Nisbeth put it on the couch in front of him.
The affidavit states there is "probable cause that Evans Honord acted with culpable negligence" when he discharged the weapon in the direction of his brother.
"This was a tragic accident that was unintentional," Officer Tom Nichols , police spokesman, said Friday.
Nichols said police conferred with prosecutors and they decided together that homicide/negligent manslaughter was the appropriate charge.
Schadrac Honord was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. Thursday, almost an hour after the incident at the home in the 1800 block of Southwest Cameo Boulevard.
Family members and friends gathered Friday at Schadrac Honord's nearby residence in the 900 block of Southwest Durham Terrace, remembering him as a quiet young man, who caused no trouble and had a talent for drawing. They flipped through a binder filled with meticulous, detailed anime-type drawings.
"Schadrac was the type of guy where he would always stay away from trouble," said 16-year-old Ernest Pierre, a cousin. "He'd come home right after school, do his homework ... he was always a good drawer and seeing him draw made me have inspiration to draw."
Pierre said Schadrac Honord, who had two siblings and was of Haitian heritage, used to care for him as a child.
"He was always there for me," Pierre said. "He was like an older brother because I don't have an older brother."
Pierre said Schadrac Honord, Evans Honord and Wilton Nisbeth all were friends.
Wilton Nisbeth declined comment Friday, but told police he put his loaded gun on the couch with the safety on and put a pillow over it. He said he announced the gun was loaded and not to touch it.
He kept packing and heard a bang before seeing Schadrac Honord on the floor. He said he called 911 and began helping Schadrac Honord as he heard Evans Honord repeatedly say, "I shot my brother."
Hayley Nisbeth told police she heard the shot, but had her back to the Honord siblings. Lopez said he heard a bang he described as sounding like a balloon popping.
Both said Evans Honord said, "I shot my brother."
Mentis said they all were hanging out enjoying some time together before her son and his family left for Montana.
"That's Wilton's best friend, ever since high school," Mentis said of Schadrac Honord. "They just came back from Japan, after serving two years, Wilton and his wife, they're both in the Marines."
They planned to drive to Montana to be with Hayley Nisbeth's family before traveling to San Diego, Calif., where they will be stationed with their child.
"(Wilton) got the gun for his protection when they were going to California," Mentis said. "They were just trying to be together before they go. ... Every time that (Wilton) come home (Schadrac) is the first one here."
Mentis said she thought the shooting was an accident.
"Somebody is dead. Every time somebody died by the hand of another person, should that person be arrested? No," Mentis said, "because there are circumstances and this was clearly a circumstance of accident."
Pierre said Schadrac Honord hoped to be a graphic designer, while Mentis said he was very respectful, calling him "the sweetest kid ever."