At least that’s the driver’s story, which begs the question: why would you try to unload your pistol when you’re behind the wheel?
Lloyd Amarsingh, 28, told detectives the shooting was an accident, according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest. Amarsingh is also charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of an instrument of a crime, and remained in custody in lieu of $250,000 bail.
His attorney, Baltazar Edson Rubio, did not return a request for comment.
While stopped at the light at the intersection of Lansdowne Avenue at Winding Way just before 8 a.m., Amarsingh said he pulled out his handgun and attempted to unload it, according to the affidavit.
He said the gun went off accidentally as he tried to remove a live round from its chamber, and it fired toward a white Mercedes Sprinter van stopped in the lane next to his Audi.
That round struck the 55-year old Jim Hunt, the driver of the van and a beloved husband and father of four , who was found unresponsive inside the vehicle a short time later. He was taken to a local hospital, but succumbed to his injures.
Amarsingth, meanwhile, had allegedly sped off after discharging his handgun. He surrendered to police several hours later after broadcast media outlets started beaming his picture across the Philadelphia area.
In his arraignment documents, Amarsingh said he was unloading his firearm while listening to loud music at a stoplight. He was celebrating a recent unemployment payment when the gun went off during the shooting.
Amarsingh said he had his seat reclined, firearm in his right hand, and while using his left hand to remove the magazine, the gun discharged.
Amarsingh then pulled the firearm’s slide back to eject the live round and said the firearm released a second time.
This doesn’t make sense to me. First off, why was Amarsingh screwing around with his gun at a stoplight to begin with? Secondly, how on earth did Amarsingh manage to point his gun directly at the vehicle beside him when he was removing the magazine? Actually, it’s even weirder than that, because police say one round actually went through Amarsingh’s rear passenger window, which would mean that he would have had the gun pointing almost backwards while removing the magazine.
Then there’s the fact that Amarsingh’s gun didn’t go off by itself. Something caused two rounds to be discharged, and the most likely explanation is that Amarsingh pulled the trigger, either intentionally or by accident.
I have questions. And it sounds like I’m not the only one.
On Friday, police told Eyewitness News they believed there was some sort of road rage between the two men before the deadly shooting.
Authorities said the driver side window of Hunt’s van was down, indicating the two men exchanged words.
Police obtained a warrant to search Amarsingh’s home and they recovered the gun he claims was fired from inside his car.
Unfortunately there are problems with the road rage theory as well, including the fact that surveillance footage doesn’t appear to show any confrontation between Hunt and Amarsingh. And Hunt’s friends say he wasn’t a confrontational guy, which leaves them confounded about the idea that an argument between the two men led to his death.
At the moment, Amarsingh is facing both third degree murder and manslaughter charges, so it looks like prosecutors and police are keeping their options open while the investigation continues. Either way, it doesn’t sound like there’s any doubt about who was responsible for Jim Hunt’s death. The big question is “why”?