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Buckley Airman shoots wife dead in Aurora, says he was playing with handgun

Posted at 4:37 PM, Aug 26, 2016

AURORA, Colo. -- A Buckley Air Force Base airman was charged with manslaughter after killing his wife while playing with a handgun, an arrest affidavit states. 

Airman First Class Brian Lebron-Rivera, 21, had called the Aurora Police Department and told dispatch the gun went off and shot his wife in the head while they were trying to take it from each other's hands. 

"Sir, I killed my wife, it was my fault," Lebron-Rivera told officers moments after reporting the shooting to dispatch at around 6:15 p.m Thursday. 

Once officers arrived at the apartment in the area of East Ohio Place and South Buckley Road, they found Genesis Rodriguez, 20, lying on the ground showing no signs of life. They also found the handgun laying on a counter top, a magazine near the handgun and a live round of ammunition near the handgun and magazine, according to the affidavit. 

Rodriguez was immediately taken to the Medical Center of Aurora, but was pronounced dead a short time later. 

Lebron-Rivera told detectives he and his wife were "training" with the handgun, and that he was teaching her how to react if someone else had a weapon, the affidavit states. 

The affidavit also shows Lebron-Rivera had just gotten out of the shower and was getting ready to go to work when he took the gun away from his wife, not remembering inserting the magazine into the handgun. He then told his wife, "whoever gets the gun first has to take it away." Lebron-Rivera got to the handgun first, picked up the weapon, chambered a round, pointed the weapon at Rodriguez and fired one shot at her killing her. 

"Obviously it doesn't matter if he wants to consider it an accident or not.  If his gun was loaded, his safety should've been on and he shouldn't have ever pointed it at someone who he did not intend to kill," said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

Detectives also interviewed a neighbor at the scene, who told them that on at least three occasions, she could hear thumping noises that she thought could be related to the couple fighting. The neighbor also told police she heard Rodriguez crying on one occasion. 

"I think she heard some noise in their apartment last week and it sounded like abuse or something," said another neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

A captain at Buckley Air Force Base said Lebron-Rivera was assigned to the 460th Security Forces Squadron. 

"Any loss of human life is tragic; right now we are focusing on making sure family and Team Buckley members have the resources they need to cope with this loss," said Col. David Miller, 460th Space Wing commander. "We appreciate the close coordination with the Aurora Police Department and we want to thank the community for their continued support."

Lebron-Rivera's bond was set at $50,000.

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