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Valrico woman shot dead during foreplay gone wrong, deputies say

Andrew Shinault, 23, faces a manslaughter charge. He was arrested last week after sheriff’s officials said he shot a woman during an act of foreplay. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
Published Jun. 3

TAMPA — A Valrico man remained in jail Monday on a manslaughter charge resulting from what sheriff's officials described as an act of foreplay gone wrong.

Andrew Charles Shinault, 23, was being held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

He is accused of shooting Paloma Williams, his girlfriend of about two weeks, on May 26 in his house at 1035 Grand Canyon Drive in Valrico.

Sheriff's deputies received a call about 12:39 p.m. that day. They arrived to find Williams, 24, in a bedroom, a gunshot wound to her chest, according to an arrest affidavit. Shinault told them he and Williams had been using a 9 mm Taurus handgun for "sexual gratification and arousal," deputies said. It was an activity they had engaged in on prior occasions. They were fully clothed and seated on his bed.

Shinault said she first rubbed the gun along his body, then he did the same to her. When the gun was pointed at her chest, he said, she grabbed his hand and the gun went off, according to the report.

As emergency personnel tried to revive her, Shinault collapsed, according to the affidavit. He and his girlfriend were taken to Brandon Regional Hospital. She later died.

Interviewed later at the hospital, Shinault spoke with a detective. He told a detective that as he rubbed the gun over his girlfriend's body, he pulled the trigger a few times and it clicked, according to the affidavit. He said Williams was rubbing her hand over the gun's slide and that she "must have" flipped the safety off.

Shinault said he was sitting on the edge of a bed with Williams between his legs, her back facing a TV set on a desk. He said he held the gun to her chest, then pulled the trigger and it went off, according to the affidavit. She fell. He began yelling for his parents, who were downstairs.

Deputies examined the weapon and found that the safety button could not be easily manipulated by rubbing, as Shinault had described, according to the affidavit.

Shinault said he did not intend to shoot his girlfriend. He said he snorted a small amount of methamphetamine about two hours before the shooting, according to the affidavit. He told a deputy that Williams had taken fentanyl.

Deputies retrieved a 9 mm projectile and bullet casing from the bedroom. They noted a hole in the TV set.

Detectives conducted a forensic examination of Shinault's cell phone, which turned up text messages between the couple indicating their relationship was not volatile, the affidavit states. They also found pictures of Shinault holding the Taurus handgun.

Shinault was arrested Friday at his home.

Contact Dan Sullivan at Follow @TimesDan.


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