GREAT FALLS - A Great Falls man has been charged with felony criminal endangerment after prosecutors said he shot his friend in the face with a gun he forgot he loaded after an afternoon "quick draw" contest.
Henry Haviland, 23, was hospitalized in serious but stable condition with a gunshot wound to the jaw. Zachary Enloe, 20, made an initial appearance in District Court Monday, where bail was set at $2,500.
Court records say Haviland and Enloe had been "dry firing" handguns at each other Sunday afternoon at the apartment of Haviland girlfriend. All three left for a time, and returned at about 9 p.m.
Court records say the 23-year-old Haviland dry-fired his unloaded .45 caliber pistol into the fireplace and then at Enloe. Prosecutors say Enloe then pulled his own 9mm pistol and shot Haviland in the jaw.
Enloe told investigators he forgot that he had loaded the gun since the two had been pretending to shot at each other earlier in the day, court records said.
Haviland is also facing a gun-related charge for an incident in late April in which he is accused of brandishing a handgun at another man in traffic. Court records say the two men got out of their cars and Haviland again took out a gun and threatened to kill the other man. He is charged with felony assault with a weapon and is scheduled to be arraigned next month.
Sunday's shooting was the latest in a series of gunplay accidents in the Great Falls area.
Last week, Brian Walsh, 24, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing his friend with a gun Walsh thought was unloaded. And in May, airman Jonathon Higgins was charged with negligent homicide. He was accused of firing a shot that killed fellow airman John Howry while the two were joking around at a party. His trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 18.