Milwaukee man 'accidentally discharged' gun, killing friend: complaint

John Huff

A 21-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of accidentally shooting his friend near Humboldt and Center. The accused is John Huff – and he faces a single count of homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police were dispatched on Monday evening, May 27 to the intersection of Humboldt and Center regarding a shooting. Officers ran to assist the shooting victim who was lying on the ground near a car. The defendant, John Huff, was at the scene trying to help the victim along with another person. A woman at the scene told police Huff was the person who shot the victim. When police spoke to Huff, he indicated the firearm was in a bag in the car.

Despite life-saving measures by emergency crews, the shooting victim was pronounced deceased on the scene. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office later identified him as Hunter Nachreiner of Woodstock, Illinois.

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One of the officers took Huff to his vehicle and asked what happened. Huff said "he did not know that he had one in the chamber of his gun, and he was taking the top slide off of his firearm and accidentally discharged the firearm, striking his friend in the back," the complaint says.

Shooting at Humboldt and Center, Milwaukee

The next day, Milwaukee detectives interviewed Huff who provided more information about what led up to the shooting. Huff said he had known Nachreiner for about three years -- and on Monday, they went to a bar on Brady Street to meet friends. The two hung out at the bar for three to four hours -- and then they were headed to an arcade. While in the car, Huff was talking about his gun and "wanted to show (another) person that he could disassemble it and that he knew what he was doing," the complaint says. Huff then stated, "I was just an idiot. I was trying to take it apart. I usually don't carry a round in the chamber, and so I pulled the slide back, locked it back, and I didn't take the mag out, that was my problem," the complaint says. "And then I heard the sound and we were all like freaking out."

When asked if Huff knew his weapons safety rules, Huff stated, "Don't point your gun at anything you don't intend to destroy, and always treat your weapon like it's loaded," the complaint says.

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Huff made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Friday, May 31. Cash bond was set at $5,000.