Palm Harbor shooting investigation leads to manslaughter charges

Shea Michael Harkins

PALM HARBOR — Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a 26-year-old Palm Harbor man about 2 a.m. June 19 in connection with the shooting of his friend.

Shea Michael Harkins was booked into the county jail on one count of manslaughter. Bail was set at $10,000.

According to detectives, Sean Cook, 26, of Clearwater went to Harkins residence June 18 and the two friends went upstairs to Harkins bedroom to visit and play video games.

Detectives say at about 7:48 p.m., Harkins went and retrieved a Colt M4 rifle that he had been customizing prior to Cook’s arrival.

During an interview with detectives, Harkins said he returned to the bedroom and pointed the rifle at Cook as a joke. Harkins told detectives that Cook had said “What, are you going to shoot me?” Harkins reportedly told detectives he pulled the trigger on what he thought was an unloaded weapon.

Detectives say the rifle had a bullet in the chamber and Harkins’ action caused the weapon to fire, striking Cook in the chest.

Cook was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 8:55 p.m.