• Matthew Sharpf was charged in connection with the shooting of Jonathan Hankins
  • A family friend said they were best friends
  • Sharpf is set to be arraigned Friday

A Virginia man, who shot and killed his childhood friend Tuesday after mistaking him for a home intruder, was charged with manslaughter.

Deputies responded to the 7400 block of Coleman’s Lake Road in Dinwiddie County at around 10:55 p.m. ET after someone reported about a person being shot, NBC 12 reported. Upon arrival, deputies found Jonathan Hankins, 37, dead at the scene from an apparent gunshot wound. The cops then arrested Matthew Sharpf, 37, from the scene and charged him with voluntary manslaughter.

Hankins and Sharpf were friends, and the shooting was accidental, WRIC-TV reported, citing the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office. The police said Hankins arrived at Sharpf’s residence that night and banged on a door to wake him up. Sharpf failed to understand it was Hankins because the latter turned up unannounced. Sharpf then shot Hankins at the porch, mistaking him for a home intruder. Following this, Sharpf’s wife called 911 saying that a “bad situation” had unfolded.

Sharpf's family friend, who knew both the accused and the victim for a long time, told NBC 12 they “were best friends, since childhood,” and added Hankins was even the “flower boy” at the former's wedding.

“Matt loved John, he would never intentionally try to harm him,” a family member of the suspect told the publication.

"The case remains under investigation and further details of this incident are not available at this time," Maj. William Knott of the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office said in a news release, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Sharpf is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Dinwiddie General District Court.

In May 2020, an off-duty New York police officer was accused of fatally shooting his "best friend" following an altercation. The authorities said the rookie officer, identified as Errick Allen, 26, fired five rounds at Chris Curro, 25, two of them in the face, resulting in his death. The police were investigating the murder. The victim’s mother told cops that the victim and the accused were best friends and they grew up together.

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