Cleveland FF charged with voluntary manslaughter in roommate's shooting death

Police documents say that Kevin McCarthy said he accidentally shot Christian Kilburg when they were “pulling guns”

Olivia Mitchell

LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — A Cleveland firefighter was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter on Thursday after he was accused of shooting his roommate at their apartment in Willoughby, police said.

Kevin McCarthy, 25, called dispatch at the Willoughby Police Department about 10:15 p.m. and reported that he accidentally shot his roommate, Christian Kilburg, 25, police said. The shooting took place at the Willogrove Apartments on Grove Avenue.

Kilburg died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head, according to police and court filings. In documents filed Monday in Willoughby Municipal Court, police said McCarthy admitted that he and Kilburg were playfully “pulling guns” on each other on a couch.

McCarthy was taken to the Willoughby Police Department for questioning. The apartment was processed with the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s crime scene unit, investigators for the Lake County prosecutor’s office and the Lake County coroner’s office, according to police.

McCarthy had his initial appearance Monday, and he is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Thursday. He is free on a $50,000 bond.

Voluntary manslaughter is a first-degree felony. and The Plain Dealer reached out to McCarthy’s attorney, Richard Perez.

Additionally, McCarthy has been suspended by the Cleveland Division of Fire without pay, pending the outcome of the judicial proceedings, police said.

McCarthy was hired by the division in 2021.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with additional information can contact the Willoughby Police Detective Bureau at 440-953-4210.


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