- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a 35-year-old man is dead after he was accidentally shot by a handgun his friend had kept loaded and handy during the search for two escaped prison inmates.

Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot says James Kohl picked up his friend Derrick Young’s handgun at Young’s apartment early Sunday after a night of drinking to celebrate the Fourth of July. Racicot says Young told Kohl to put it down and reached for the gun, which went off, killing Kohl.

Racicot said the gun was accessible because Young had kept it handy during the three-week hunt for escaped Clinton Correctional inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat. Matt was shot dead by U.S. border patrol June 26 and Sweat was wounded and recaptured June 28.

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