Saturday night, Allen Jones of Bay Minette, Alabama went to get the .40-caliber Glock handgun out of glove compartment of his truck. As he was walking through a screened porch area into his house he tripped and fell and dropped the gun. The gun discharged and the bullet hit Jones in the left thigh, just above the knee. Jones called to his wife, Aleisha, for help and she and their toddler son came running. The boy picked up the gun and when Aleisha tried to get the gun away from the child, the gun fired, wounding her in the left side of the neck.
The couple was taken to USA Medical Center in Mobile for treatment. Their injuries do not appear to be life threatening. Police said that further investigation is pending but there are no charges at this time.
Last July 24-year-old Michael Widun, of Enfield, Connecticut, was at his friend's apartment. Widun wanted to see his friend's gun, so 27-year-old Raymond Moule pulled his 9mm handgun out from under his bed. Moule unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting Widun in the head. The bullet entered the back of Widun's head and exited the right side.
Seven months later Widun is working to recover from this traumatic brain injury. He is being helped in his recovery by a robotic therapy device called the Lokomat which allows Widun to walk more efficiently. The machine holds his weight and lets him walk long distances without having to use a cane. "It's good repetitive training, which helps rewire Kevin's neuromuscular system," said his doctor.
Widun still faces a long road ahead. "Well, I'm hoping to hopefully go back to work," he said. "I was installing floors. So hopefully one day I can return to that. You know, ditch the cane and just walk normally."
64-year-old Pastor John Bartha died at his home Saturday night while a gun he was handling unintentionally discharged. Bartha was shot in the chest and died a short time later.
Bartha was the pastor at the Ruskin United Methodist Church in Ruskin, Florida. He was a veteran of the Vietnam was and an avid outdoorsman who was familiar with guns. Investigators have not released the type of gun involved in the shooting but believe that Bartha was moving when the gun went off. Bartha is survived by his wife of 37 years, three children and two grandchildren.
Greg Mehlbauer is a deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff's office in Indiana. Wednesday afternoon his 4-year-old twin sons were playing alone in the basement of their home when they found a loaded .40-caliber semi-automatic Glock handgun. While the boys were handling the gun it unintentionally fired, shooting Aiden in the abdomen. The boy was rushed to the hospital but later died of his injuries.
Mehlbauer had left for his shift with the sheriff's department a short time before the accident. When he heard about the shooting he began speeding back home, causing a minor wreck on the way.
Last weekend, two men in Columbus, Georgia were injured in two separate unintentional shootings.
27-year-old Carlos Williams was arguing with his wife. Williams went to pull a handgun out of his hooded sweatshirt when the gun unintentionally fired, hitting him in the stomach. The bullet came out his buttocks. Williams is still in the hospital but when he is released he will be charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He told police he wasn't planning on shooting his wife when he went for the gun.
51-year-old Samuel Cole was being driven to the hospital for treatment for mental issues when he started arguing with his 31-year-old son. His son pulled the car into a parking lot and Cole got out of the vehicle and started threatening to shoot his son. While trying to pull a handgun out of his waistband he shot himself in the groin. He was taken to the hospital, treated, and released. Cole has been charged with Aggravated Assault.
On January 13th, 71-year-old Diana Barker went out to dinner with her husband and friends at a local restaurant in Houston, Texas. Diana was shot in the buttocks when a gun fell out of the pocket of a man's jacket at the next table. The handgun fired when it hit the floor.
The bullet came up and hit her in the left buttocks, came through her hip bone, up across her stomach and is still lodged in the right hand side of her chest. Diana was in the hospital for two weeks and is still at a rehabilitation center. Her recovery hasn't been easy and is likely to result in hundred of thousand of dollars in medical bills.
Her family wants to see charges brought against the gun owner. "We feel that there should be both criminal and civil penalties for this reckless and negligent behavior," said her son Richard. Prosecutors say that although the man is not facing charges at this time, that could change.
The gun owner said he is distraught over what happened and didn't realize the loaded gun was in his jacket.
"It scares me if that were the truth," Richard said, "because that means he had a loaded weapon in his house and he didn't know where the gun was."
Saturday night, 13-year-old Kasey Canada went with her 23-year-old babysitter to a barbecue at a home in Canaveral Groves, Florida. The host of the party, 25-year-old Justin Adkins, was in the bedroom showing a friend his .380-caliber handgun when the gun unintentionally discharged. The bullet went through the wall and into the kitchen where it struck Kasey in the back. The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The State Attorney's Office will decided whether or not to charge Adkins in the shooting. Grief counselors will be at Kasey's middle school today to talk to students.
On New Year's Eve, 2007, Zenon Fernandez of North Miami, Florida decided to celebrate by shooting off his gun. He took his Glock handgun and shot into a discarded couch outside his apartment complex. Unfortunately, 11-year-old Joshua Arroliga was playing a game of hide-and-seek with his friends and was hiding behind the couch. Joshua was shot several times, including once in the head, and was killed.
Fernandez was sentenced today to 10 years in prison. At his sentencing Fernandez once again apologized to Joshua's family, saying it was an accident and he had no intentions to harm anyone.
"I don't know how you can classify this an accident," Joshua's mother replied, "A person who pulled out a gun and shot - it didn't shoot by itself. Somebody shot it and that was him."
Since the shooting Miami-Dade officials have stressed to the community not to turn to the popular tradition of shooting guns in the air to celebrate the New Year.
A fourth-grade girl and her fifth-grade bother were alone in the their home in Green Bay, Wisconsin when they heard some noises outside and went and got a gun. The boy unintentionally shot his sister in the upper chest. The bullet went in at an angle by her throat, hit her vertebrae and exited under her arm. The brother cleaned the wound, bandaged his sister and put her to bed.
The next morning the girl went to school. A teacher noticed something was wrong and persisted in questioning the girl. Finally she told the teacher, "Yeah, I got shot last night."
Doctors say the odds of the girl escaping more serious injury were one in a million. She is currently in the hospital and can go home in a few days.
Police are investigating and say charges could be filed against the father if they find the gun was left unsecured.
In January, 71-year-old Diana Barker was having dinner at Raffas restaurant in Kingwood, Texas with her husband and friends when a man at the next table dropped his gun. When the gun hit the floor it discharged and the bullet hit Diana in the buttocks.
According to a web site set up by Diana's children to update her friends on her progress, the bullet hit Diana on the left buttocks and then continued up through her hip, into her abdomen and ended at the right side of her chest. Immediate emergency surgery stopped the internal bleeding. The bullet missed the major artery and all vital organs but made a mess of the small and large intestines. Diana underwent a second surgery to rejoin her small intestines and removed another part of her large intestine. She will have to have a colostomy for approximately six months. Diana is still in a rehabilitation facility, struggling to recover from her injury.
The man who dropped the gun said he is totally distraught after the incident. He said he had on a jacket he hadn't worn in a year and didn't know it had his .38-caliber derringer gun in its pocket.
How can you be so nonchalant about your guns that an entire year goes by and you have no idea where a gun is, you don't miss it, you don't wonder about it, and you forget that it is in the pocket of the coat you are wearing?
A Secret Service agent who is assigned to the detail that protects Nancy Reagan unintentionally shot himself in the hip during a firearm training session in Camarillo, California. The agent, who has not been identified, was putting his gun back in his holster when the gun discharged. The bullet struck him in the hip. He has been hospitalized with a non-life threatening injury.
The division that protects the President's wife had rented part of a shooting range for a routine training session.
A client at a tattoo parlor in Bellingham, Washington unintentionally fired his gun inside the Black Rose Tattoo Parlor Wednesday. The tattoo artist noticed the man had a gun in a holster on his hip and asked the man to remove the ammunition magazine because the shop had a rule against loaded guns. The man complied. When he was finished getting the tattoo he went to put the magazine back in the handgun and unintentionally fired the gun. The bullet hit the floor and two walls, causing about $500 in damage.
When the owner told the man he was calling the police, the man ran out the back door.
21-year-old Joel Sheehy, son of Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy, was handling a handgun he owns when the gun unintentionally discharged. According to a statement, "the bullet entered Joel's right front cheek and exited behind his right ear. He is under medical supervision and in stable condition. He will undergo surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair facial fractures."
Joel is a senior at the University of Nebraska where he is studying biotechnology. According to his Facebook page, Joel is a fan of the group Anything About Guns.
On January 19th, Los Angeles Unified School District police Officer Jeff Stenroos claimed he had been shot by a man with a gray ponytail who had been breaking into cars. A massive dragnet followed as hundreds of officers were dispatched to search for the assailant. The manhunt cost an estimated $500,000 and shut down seven square miles of the west San Fernando Valley. Officer Stenroos has now told investigators that it was all a hoax and that he accidentally fired his gun. Stenroos has been arrested and booked on suspicion of making a false police report.
Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the case. "Right now we have more questions than answers," said a senior LAPD official.