A man who shot a suspected gangster in the head has told an inquest they were such good friends it had seemed "impossible" for something like that to happen.
Security worker Stephen "Aki" Akinyemi, 44, died after being shot in the temple during a fight with Arran Coghlan at the businessman's £500,000 home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, on February 9 2010.
They had known each other since the 1990s, and Mr Coghlan told an inquest into Mr Akinyemi's death, sitting at London's Royal Courts of Justice: "I would genuinely believe it was impossible for him and me to fall out about anything in that relationship. I would invite him into my home."
Mr Coghlan, 45, described Mr Akinyemi as "quirky", "funny" and as someone who seemed like he had "good morals and was a stand-on type of person".
Mr Coghlan told a previous inquest in October 2011 that Mr Akinyemi had pulled a gun on him and it went off in a struggle during which he was stabbed several times.
Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recorded an open verdict, saying he had "difficulty" accepting Mr Coghlan's version of events.
Mr Coghlan was initially accused of murdering Mr Akinyemi, but the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charge because it could not prove Mr Coghlan was not acting in self-defence.