WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. — A Rogersville man is accused of accidentally shooting and killing his friend.

Tyler Gene Tennis, 23, of Rogersville is formally charged with three felonies:

  • First-degree involuntary manslaughter.
  • Unlawful use of a loaded weapon while intoxicated.
  • Armed criminal action.

According to court documents, Webster County Sheriff’s Office deputies received a “shots fired” call from Timber Meadows Drive in Rogersville on March 3. When law enforcement arrived at the residence, they found Tennis sitting in the garage. He was placed in handcuffs and questioned.

According to Tennis, he and others were sitting in the victim’s room when he accidentally discharged a handgun and shot a “young kid” in the head. They were packing up guns to shoot at a river.

Tennis said he did not know his .45 handgun was loaded. He said he “cocked it back” and his finger slipped while he was unintentionally pointing the gun at his friend’s head. After shooting his friend, Tennis went to tell his mother.

According to a police report, Tennis’ blood alcohol content was consensually tested. He blew a .092.

Tennis is not yet scheduled for a court appearance. This article will be updated as his case progresses.

Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole described the shooting as “reckless.” 

“I don’t believe there was malicious intent at this point,” Cole explained.

Kelli Wadlington said the victim was her 19-year-old son Dakota Wadlington.

“At some point in time your kid is going to pass away,” said Kelli. “You just don’t think it’s going to happen the way it did.”

Kelli said she wants more answers about the situation.

“I’m being told that it was an accident, but I just have so many questions,” said Kelli. “I question whether or not it was.”

She said Dakota was always helping others. She was led to believe the people involved were some of his close friends.

“He was constantly dancing and singing and just being goofy and trying to keep people happy,” she said. “He was always smiling. Dakota was just trying to get back on the right track. We thought this group of people were some of the better people he could have been around.”

Sheriff Cole said the incident was tragic.

“It’s horrible because of a reckless decision,” Cole said. “Just absolutely heartbreaking. I think you’re going to have two families in a lot of pain because of one reckless act.”He wants people to remember gun safety rules and to keep a gun pointed in a safe direction.