23-year-old Nicholas Bell of Manchester, Vermont went to wake up his 24-year-old friend Jeffrey Charbonneau Thanksgiving morning. The two were guests at a friend's house and Nicholas planned to play a prank on Jeffrey. He grabbed what he thought was a toy air gun, pointed it at Jeffrey and pulled the trigger. Tragically, Nicholas was holding a .22 caliber rifle, not a toy gun. Jeffrey died at the scene.
A local licensed firearms retailer said it can be very easy to confuse the toy air gun with the .22-caliber rifle because they are similar in weight and size.
"You could have the two side by side and somebody that didn't know about guns wouldn't be able to tell the two apart," he said.