After putting on a bulletproof vest and asking whether it still worked, a Florida man was shot dead by his cousin, police said.

Joaquin Mendez, 23, from Tampa, was fatally shot on 10 September after trying on the vest in his home and querying whether or not it still worked.

His cousin Alexandro Garibaldi, 24, allegedly responded "let's see" and shot him in the chest, according to police.

Mendez was rushed to hospital after the shooting but died from his injury.

Garibaldi, who is now facing a manslaughter charge, initially told police he had found his cousin with a bullet wound after hearing a gunshot – but witnesses disputed his story and claimed he had fired the gun after Mendez put on the vest.

He is also facing a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, police told the Tampa Bay Times.

The incident is not the first in which someone has been shot dead while wearing a bullet resistant vest – with UK man Philip Harper shot dead in a field after buying a protective vest to "test" with a friend.

And in Baltimore earlier this year a man was filmed being shot while wearing a protective vest – but his friend missed and hit him in the upper arm, accidentally killing him.