Lakewood man's fatal shooting of 19-year-old wife: Accident or murder?

TACOMA -- A JBLM soldier says he accidentally shot and killed his wife while cleaning his rifle in their Lakewood apartment Thursday night. But was it an accident -- or murder?

That's what Lakewood police are trying to figure out.

The soldier is being held in the Pierce County Jail for investigation of manslaughter.

Skylar Nemetz, 20, appeared before a judge Friday. He is accused of shooting his wife, Danielle Nemetz, 19, in the back of the head.

Kyle Tripp, a lifelong friend of Nemetz's, said, "I really don`t think that Skyler would ever do anything like this.

"He`s really caring and would go out of his way to help others and stuff and, I mean, he was always there to lend a hand. He would never do anything like this."

Police say Nemetz shot his wifewhile she was sitting at the computer in the back of the head with his AR-15 rifle.

When questioned by detectives, police say, Nemetz gave several different accounts of how his wife was shot.

Nemetz said he was cleaning his gun and at one point he admits to intentionally pointing the rifle at his wife, placing it on fire and pulling the trigger. Nemetz told detectives he thought the rifle wasn`t loaded.

Tripp said Skyler and Danielle had a  loving relationship. They met in high school and were married shortly after, he said.

Nemetz is a specialist with the 7th Infantry Division at JBLM.

"I think it was 100% an accident," Tripp said, "because, I mean, I know the guy. I`ve known him my whole life, since we were little kids. As far as I`m concerned, he would never do anything like that.

To read our earlier story on this case, click the link below:

Man says he accidentally shot, killed his 19-year-old wife while cleaning rifle