WAUPACA — An 18-year-old Waupaca man accused of fatally shooting a friend in July told police he was playing “cops and robbers” and thought the gun was not loaded, according to court records.

Austin Hovarter was 17 when he shot 15-year-old Jacob Peglow July 26 at a rural Waupaca home. He faces fist degree reckless homicide charges and was released after a a $100,000 cash bond was posted on his behalf, court records show.

Hovarter’s 14-year-old brother told police he was in the room when his brother pulled a .22-caliber pistol from an open safe, pointed the gun at Peglow and fired, according to the complaint. The younger boy told police the firearm was not normally loaded and was typically kept in his parents’ bedroom.

Hovarter told an officer with the state Department of Criminal Investigations on Sept. 14 that “he has used the revolver four or five times playing cops and robbers,” and had pointed the gun at the 14-year-old boy and pulled the trigger “many times” on each of those occasions. He also said he and Peglow were playing the game when the shooting took place, the complaint reads.

A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 26 in Waupaca County Circuit Court. Hovarter faces up to 60 years in prison if he is convicted on the single felony charge.