Cleveland firefighter pleads guilty to killing roommate

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:23 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 3:38 PM EST
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PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cleveland firefighter pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lake County Common Pleas Court to fatally shooting his roommate in April 2022.

Kevin McCarthy was convicted of one charge of reckless homicide for the April 14, 2022 shooting.

Willoughby police said MCarthy called 911 at 8:16 p.m. saying he accidentally shot and killed Christian Kilburg, 25.

The shooting happened at their apartment on Grove Street in Willoughby.

“I can’t believe this happened,” McCarthy said to dispatchers while waiting for police to arrive. “I was going to kill myself.”

According to Geauga County Prosecutor Carolyn Mulligan, the two roommates returned to their apartment after a night of drinking and began horseplay with a handgun.

“Without checking to see whether or not the handgun he was holding was loaded, he pointed that at the temple of Christian Kilburg and pulled the trigger,” said Mulligan.

Judge John O’Donnell will sentence McCarthy on Feb. 22. He faces a maximum of six years in prison.

After Wednesday’s court hearing, McCarthy resigned from the Cleveland Division of Fire.