An Army Ranger stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, who shot a fellow soldier in the neck while “fooling around” in February, has been sentenced, according to The News Tribune.
Spc. Thomas Patrick Popek, 22, was sentenced by a military judge to three years and one month confinement and a bad-conduct discharge, the report said.
Popek was originally charged in a county court with second-degree assault for the Feb. 11 shooting. The military later took jurisdiction, and on July 31 he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a loaded firearm, according to the report.
Popek and the victim, another JBLM soldier, were preparing to go to a shooting range and Popek was cleaning the weapon when he pointed the handgun at the other soldier and pulled the trigger, according to charging documents.
The wounded soldier was on life support after the incident, and Popek told investigators he didn’t know the firearm was loaded, The News Tribune reported.