Bernard Coleman III says he shot his father by accident, documents show

The man police say shot his father in the back of the head, told them he did it accidentally when he thought his dad was asleep.

Bernard Coleman III, 23, has been charged with the murder of Bernard Coleman Jr. According to the affidavit for his arrest, Coleman III told police, “I didn’t mean to shoot [the gun] the first time, I was playing with [the gun] behind his back.”

According to a police interview, Coleman III told police he found a gun in his father’s house and was planning to run away with it, but decided against it. The night of the murder, Coleman III planned to return the gun to his father’s room when he instead fired the gun at Coleman Jr., his 43-year-old father, who appeared to be asleep. Coleman III then fled the scene after taking his father’s car keys.

Coleman III told police he forgot the gun was loaded when he fired.

The following day, March 17, police arrived to the scene, at 4001 Cole Blvd., SE, where Coleman’s sister directed them upstairs where police found Coleman Jr.’s lifeless body.

An autopsy determined Coleman Jr. had one gunshot wound to the back of the head, another on his back and an abrasion on the center of his back. The coroner also noted one of the gun shells was pulled from Coleman’s brain.

On the scene, the older Coleman’s sister told police her brother’s car was missing and noted her brother never let anyone drive his car, including his son Coleman III, otherwise known as Lil Pee Wee.

Police placed a lookout on the car which was later found at 236 37th Place, SE.

Surveillance footage in the area where the car was found showed a black male wearing a knee-length or waist-length large black winter coat, jeans and bright colored sneakers. The man was seen getting in the car and driving away.

According to witness interviews, family members told police that while at a family gathering grieving the death of Coleman Jr., Coleman III was wearing the same attire as the man described in the surveillance footage. A picture taken at the family gathering confirmed Coleman III’s attire as well.

The following week police arrived at 236 37th Place, with a warrant for Coleman III’s arrest.

Documents detailing the police investigation, also contain multiple accounts of people exchanging text messages with Coleman Jr. after he was killed. It’s suggested someone was pretending to be Coleman Jr. in order to hide his death. However, police have not confirmed if it was Coleman III sending the messages.

Coleman III is being held without bond as he faces second-degree murder while armed charges.

The defendant is expected in court April 7 for a preliminary hearing.


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