Man kills Paulding teen while playing with gun, Florida cops say

A Douglas County man told investigators he often plays a game with his handgun and points it at others, according to his arrest affidavit.

But when Spencer Chase Pruitt, 24, of Douglasville, did the same thing early Monday in a Panama City Beach condo, he fired a shot at a 19-year-old Paulding County woman, according to police. Victoria “Tori” Lynn Busch, who was visiting friends at the beach, later died from her injuries.

“He points his firearm at friends and pulls the trigger, but it does not fire,” the affidavit states. “On this date, in his own statement, he stated he always does and does not know why his gun fired a round this time.”

Investigators were called shortly after 3 a.m. to the Top of the Gulf condominiums on Thomas Drive, according to the Panama City Beach Police Department. They found Busch with a gunshot wound to the neck, according to police. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Pruitt was charged with manslaughter and booked into the Bay County Jail. At his court appearance Tuesday, Pruitt’s bond was set at $200,000, court records show. He remained in the jail early Thursday morning.

Credit: Bay County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Bay County Sheriff's Office

Busch, a 2019 graduate of North Paulding High School, attended Georgia Northwestern Technical College and planned to pursue a career in welding, according to family friend Linda Corriveau. A bubbly, free spirit, Busch was an upbeat girl and well-loved by her family and friends.

“She was just a good girl that brought happiness to a lot of people and was such a positive in everyone’s lives,” Corriveau said Wednesday.

Many in the Paulding community where Busch grew up contributed to a GoFundMe page, created to assist her family. Many left comments to the family on the donation page, created by another family friend.

“Sweet Tori, the world will never be the same without you in it — you will be forever in our hearts,” the fundraiser organizer posted online. “May God care for you, his new angel, and wrap his arms around your sweet mom, dad, and little brother. Rest in peace beautiful girl!”

A visitation is planned for Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Collins Funeral Home in Acworth. Funeral arrangements were pending Thursday. In addition to her parents, Busch is survived by a younger brother and numerous other relatives and friends.