1. News
  2. /
  3. Crime

Gulfport man arrested in fatal shooting of twin brother

Police said the two were talking and joking inside a car parked at their home.

GULFPORT — A 23-year-old man has been arrested on a manslaughter charge after police said he accidentally shot his twin brother to death in Gulfport on Sunday evening.

Gulfport police said officers were called to the 5600 block of 25th Avenue South at about 7:08 p.m. Sunday in response to a report of a shooting inside a vehicle.

Police said twin brothers Mathias Parkinson-Freeman and Thomas Parkinson-Freeman were sitting in a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder parked at their home.

The brothers and a mutual friend talked and joked while in the vehicle. Mathias pulled out a handgun and pointed it at his brother. Thomas responded by pulling out a handgun, pointing it at his brother and pulling the trigger, police said.

Mathias was shot in the face and killed, police said.

Police said Thomas had formerly worked as a security officer and had been wearing a gun belt from his time employed there.

“Detectives concluded that Thomas was not acting in self-defense when he drew and fired his gun because he told detectives that he was not in fear and that he did not believe Mathias had any intention of shooting him,” police said in a news release.

“Thomas said that he reacted automatically based on training and that he does not know why he did so.”

Multiple calls made to the attorney representing Thomas were not returned Monday. Thomas was booked at the Pinellas County jail early Monday morning.