MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 58-year-old Brooklyn Center man was sentenced to four years in prison, with a stayed five-year sentence, in connection with the accidental shooting death of his son last November after the two had been drinking.

Howard Glenn Bascomb pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree manslaughter in Hennepin County Court. In addition to his stayed sentence, he will have to spend 273 days in a workhouse.

According to a criminal complaint, Brooklyn Center Police responded to a report of a shooting at about 3:20 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2011, at a residence on the 6800 block of York Place North. The caller, a woman at the residence, said she was woken up by a gun shot. She told police she then saw her boyfriend and his father, later identified as Bascomb, had been sitting at a table drinking and playing with a handgun that had discharged.

When authorities arrived, they found that the victim, later identified as 23-year-old Alexander Aaron Bascomb, had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was slumped over in a chair. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Howard Bascomb told police the gun was his and that he and his son had been drinking late the night before and early that morning. He said at some point they decided to field strip the gun and put it pack together. When they were attempting to put it back together, the safety was off and Howard Bascomb’s finger was on the trigger when it discharged, striking his son.

The complaint states Howard Bascomb wasn’t paying attention to the safety when the gun went off, and the shooting was his fault.

Comments (10)
  1. Coolbreeze says:

    Why is this guy in so much trouble for what appears to be an accidental shooting? As stupid as he was, cleaning a loaded gun after drinking, does he deserve jail?

    1. Red Rider says:

      Really? The bigger question, why such a lenient sentence.

      1. Real Talk says:

        It was an accident. A dumb one..which is why he got 4 years. His real punishment is seeing his dead son with a hole in his chest every time he closes his eyes. How much more do you want to punish they guy?

        Just like traffic deaths….gun deaths are unpreventable. As long as there are cars & guns there will be accidental deaths resulting from them. It makes sense when you think about, guns were literally designed to kill living creatures…that is their purpose.

        1. jep says:

          Just like traffic deaths? You mean those caused by people who get behind the wheel after drinking? What would be the charge if that was how he’d killed his son instead of shooting him? Would you do away with that law, too?

          I’m not unsympathetic to the argument, though. But it’s hard to say what the penalty should be in a case like this. It’s not a simple “accident” to strip a loaded pistol, even when you’re not drunk. There’s absolutely no reason it should ever have been loaded.

  2. fitswell says:

    A real drunk, think so

  3. ed nunn says:

    ..aside from cleaning a gun drunk, I cant begin to imagine what it must feel like to kill my own son..

  4. Research says:

    I don’t care how drunk you are, never clean the gun drunk and always do gun care 101, never point the gun unless at a target.

  5. Perry says:

    If being stupid was a crime, we’d all be serving some time.

    This was an overzealous sadistic prosecutor with nothing to do. And when a prosecutor has nothing to do, somebody is going to get prosecuted whether they deserve it or not.

  6. Melissa says:

    I am not a bleeding heart by any means…but look at the clear pain in his eyes. This man shouldn’t serve time. He will spend the rest of his life punishing himself enough!

  7. Melissa says:

    I am not a bleeding heart by any means, but look at the clear pain in his eyes. This man will punish himself enough for the rest of his life, no need for the jail time.