Construction worker who fatally shot friend on Riverview roof won't face criminal charges

The decision not to file charges against the shooter in the May 8 incident on Riverlachen Way, 44-year-old Alvin Mohan Chooyick, came after a review by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office.
A man who inadvertantly shot a 44-year-old construction worker  at this job site along the 8900 block of Riverlachen Way in Riverview on May 8 won’t face criminal charges, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
[PAUL GUZZO | Times]
A man who inadvertantly shot a 44-year-old construction worker at this job site along the 8900 block of Riverlachen Way in Riverview on May 8 won’t face criminal charges, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday. [PAUL GUZZO | Times]
Published June 12
Updated June 12

TAMPA — No criminal charges will be filed against a construction worker who shot his friend while the friend was working on the roof of a home in Riverview last month.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office announced the decision in a one-sentence news release Tuesday afternoon. The decision was made after a review by Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren's office, the release said.

"This was a tragic accident," Warren said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. "Although an accidental shooting like this does not constitute a crime, it’s a sober reminder of the importance of safe and responsible gun ownership.

READ MORE: Neighbor on accidental shooting death: 'It could have happened when we were standing there talking.'

Troy Leo Phirangee, 45, was killed when 44-year-old Alvin Mohan Chooyick's gun discharged about 1:45 p.m. at 8915 Riverlachen Way, on a cul-de-sac just north of the Alafia River near Riverview Drive and 78th Street.

Chooyick parked his truck on the street and was getting out when he slipped on a piece of construction debris, sheriff’s Maj. Frank Losat said. The gun discharged as Chooyick was moving it between his waistband and pocket, Losat said.

Phirangee and a third member of the crew were on the roof at the time, standing 6 feet to 10 feet apart. The third man was Chooyick's son, and Phirangee was a longtime friend of their family, Losat said.

READ MORE: Nationally, number of people hurt in firearms accidents is flat. In Florida, it’s soaring.

The shooting was one of a string of inadvertent gun discharges in the Tampa Bay area. In one case, a Pasco County sheriff's deputy's gun went off in the cafeteria of a Wesley Chapel middle school. No one was injured. In another, a woman's pistol discharged in the checkout line of a Land O' Lakes Publix. A round hit her husband in the leg.

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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