18-year-old Alex Shaw, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was sitting with friends on the back patio of his grandparent's home. He was showing off a .38-caliber revolver he had bought for protection.
According to police, Alex told his friends "that he carried the gun in such a manner as to keep one round out of the firing chamber to prevent an accidental discharge." He told them to fire the gun to see, but none of them wanted to, so he held the gun against his head and pulled the trigger.
Alex was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It's very heart-wrenching to realize what this family has gone through and now they have this latest tragedy to deal with," said the police spokesperson.
In June, Alex's mother died of cancer. Just eight days later, armed suspects broke into the Shaw's home and Alex's father was shot to death while confronting the masked gunmen. It was after his father's death that Alex began to carry a gun for protection.