A 20-year-old Lakewood man who fatally shot his wife Thursday said he thought the rifle was unloaded but police said he admitted to deliberately firing at her.
Skylar Nemetz was booked early Friday into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of manslaughter. He was ordered held without bail for three days while police continue to investigate. A charging decision was expected next week.
Officials have not identified his 19-year-old wife, pending notification of her family.
After neighbors reported hearing a single gunshot, police were called about 6 p.m. to the Beaumont Grand apartments where the couple lived in the 8500 block of 82nd Street Southwest.
Nemetz reportedly told a neighbor he’d accidentally shot his wife while cleaning the rifle.
According to court records, she was sitting in front of a computer when her husband shot her in the back of the head with an AR-15 rifle.
Nemetz told detectives “he thought the gun was unloaded but did admit to intentionally pointing it at her, placing it on fire and pulling the trigger,” police spokesman Chris Lawler said.
Nemetz allegedly gave different accounts of how his wife was shot.
Police have no reports of domestic violence between the couple, who lived at the apartment with their two dogs.
Nemetz is an active-duty soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is his first duty station. He arrived there in March 2013 and is a specialist in the 7th Infantry Division, Lt. Col. William Coppernoll said.
Neighbor, friend and fellow soldier Ben Bergmark said he heard no arguing before the single gunshot was fired and said his friends had a good marriage.
Nemetz is “a hard-working person, and I think it was all accidental,” Bergmark said. “They've always been very nice when we would talk to them. And I try to give people the benefit of the doubt as well."
KIRO-TV contributed to this report.