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Marine shot with "unloaded gun" dies in Charleston hospital

BEAUFORT -- A 21-year-old Beaufort Marine shot in the head at a party Saturday died Monday night, said Beaufort County deputy coroner Edward Allen.

With his parents at his side, Cpl. Tony Martinez-Ramirez died at about 9 p.m. at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston from a gunshot wound to the head, Allen said. An autopsy was completed Tuesday.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is expected to release additional information today on the charges facing the Marine who allegedly shot Martinez-Ramirez -- Lance Cpl. Patrick King.

Investigators said King, 21, was playing with a handgun he'd brought to the party at Polk Village, a gun King said he believed was unloaded.

Witnesses told the Sheriff's Office that King aimed the gun at Martinez-Ramirez and pulled the trigger. The two men were described as friends, and partygoers told investigators there hadn't been an argument, the Sheriff's Office said.

King remained in jail Tuesday on a$50,000 bond. He has been charged with assault with intent to kill.

Martinez-Ramirez's death is the second accidental fatal shooting in northern Beaufort County in the past week.

A Burton teenager was killed Aug. 10 when a handgun he and his friends were playing with accidentally discharged.No one has been charged in that incident.

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