A Dade City man is behind bars after a Lacooche man's body was found in a crashed SUV Wednesday night.
Deputies received a call about a vehicle crash in the area of 21st Street and Powerline Road at 10:52 p.m.
When deputies arrived, they found the body of Casey Bailey, 24, of Lacoochee, in the 1999 red Ford Explorer. He had been shot in the chest and back.
On Thursday, deputies said they had arrested Raul Castro, 23, in connection with his death. Detectives said he admitted to accidentally shooting Bailey, who was a friend of his.
According to the arrest affidavit, the owner of the SUV said he and another man had gone to Bailey's house to pick up Bailey and Castro. They were driving on 14th Street when they heard a loud gunshot from the passenger seats, then heard Bailey gasping for breath.
The SUV's owner said Castro then jumped over the console into the driver's seat and started trying to drive away from the scene. Eventually Castro stopped the SUV and the two other men got out. Deputies said the witness said they told Castro to get medical attention for Bailey, but he ignored their requests.
The witness reportedly told detectives that Castro had been known to carry a firearm and that he had seen him be "careless" with the weapon.
Detectives interviewed Castro and said he admitted to accidentally shooting Bailey, as he believed the gun, which had been given to him earlier in the day, was unloaded. Castro said he racked the slide of the gun and pulled the trigger, then shot Bailey through the front passenger seat.
Castro then said that he was trying to drive to a hospital when he crashed the SUV on 21st Street, and then ran from the scene after the crash.
Detectives are now investigating whether a gun found along the road near the site of the incident is the gun used in the shooting.
Castro is facing charges of manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm.