For an argument over plastic cups, a pingpong ball and warm beer, one Montgomery County man lost his life and another may spend the rest of his in prison.
Joseph B. Jimenez, 24, was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly fatally shooting his opponent, Scott Riley, 25, following a game of beer pong at a Bridgeport home Friday night.
Investigators said that they don't know what rule infractions sparked the fight during the drinking game, but Bridgeport Police Chief Zenny Martyniuk said that the men knew each other before the match and had no prior issues.
Jimenez and Riley, both of Bridgeport, were playing beer pong at a small gathering at a mutual friend's house on Second Street near Mill when witnesses saw them arguing over the game, police said. Several witnesses even told investigators that they believed that the men were play-wrestling or horsing around.
Jimenez allegedly told police that after the game, he left the house through the front door and Riley left with another man through the back door.
Once outside, according to one witness, Jimenez and Riley ran into each other in a pedestrian-only alleyway and began talking trash.
According to court documents, Jimenez claimed that Riley had said, "Shoot me! Shoot me! You guys ain't got the b----!"
Jimenez pulled a .40-caliber Taurus handgun from his waistband and shot Riley once in the neck, police said.
A witness who had attended the party but who'd already returned to her nearby home told police that she heard a single gunshot and then heard the victim gagging and pleading for help in the alleyway.
"[She] described the extent of the victim's bleeding by stating that she could hear the blood gushing from his wound," the affidavit said.
Riley was taken to Montgomery Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:25 a.m.
Jimenez ran home from the scene, woke his mother and told her that his gun fell out of his pants and went off during a game of beer pong, shooting Riley, court documents said.
Sometime after midnight, Jimenez - his hands still covered in blood - allegedly approached an investigating officer at the crime scene and told her that his gun could be found in a trash can nearby.
Police took Jimenez into custody and found the gun, which had one round in the chamber and six in the magazine, prosecutors said. Investigators previously recovered a matching shell casing near Riley's body.
Jimenez told authorities that he had owned the gun for about five months and had fired up to 250 rounds from it on five occasions, court documents said.
The firearm is registered to Jimenez, but he did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to prosecutors.
Jimenez allegedly told police that he called 9-1-1 to get Riley medical help, but investigators said that records from the defendant's cell phone showed no such call had been made. Jimenez got slapped with an additional charge of false reports to law enforcement for the claim.
Other charges against Jimenez include first- and third-degree murder, carrying a firearm without a license and possessing instruments of a crime.
According to his MySpace page, Riley, who went by the nickname "Fat Dude," was the father of two young children. He was a 2003 graduate of Upper Merion High School and a contractor.
"Damn, how could you leave me like this? We had life all planned out," one friend wrote. "Please watch over the kids, they miss you." *