It was supposed to be the happiest of times. Instead it turned out to be the worst with a new dad shot dead.
In a freak situation, Steven Justin Ayers, 33, a brand new dad of three days, was killed Tuesday night when a stray bullet penetrated his home, struck him in the back of the head killing him instantly.
Ayers, a longtime guitar instructor, and his wife Jessica had just brought home their son from the hospital who was born on Father’s Day. Family members who were there for the homecoming had just left.
The Ayers’ neighbor, 62-year-old Charles Edward Shisler, was arrested and charged with manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to The News Herald, he told investigators the gun accidentally discharged when he picked it up inside his house. The bullet then went through his window and into the Ayers’ home 200 feet away.
As word of a new dad shot spread through the community, fundraisers began in the area, including one by a local radio station, WPAP 92.5.
The proceeds go directly to benefit the Ayers family.
“We are heartbroken for Jessica, Jaxon and their entire family. This is at least a way we can help them and honor Justin’s memory,” John Claunch writes on the gofundme.com page. “Justin was an amazing guitarist and did what he loved for a living. Very few people can say that. He had a heart of gold and loved to teach people to play. He will be missed by many many people.”