Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fundraiser at church ends with unintentional shooting

St. Patrick Catholic Church in Wentzville, Missouri was holding a fundraiser for a cancer patient Saturday night. As the evening was ending and decorations were being taken down people were popping balloons. According to the local police chief, "During the popping of the balloons there was a pop that was unrecognizable and there was a victim of a gunshot."
23-year-old Aaron Dwan had been shot and fell to the floor. Due to all the activity in the room few people realized what had happened.
Dwan was taken to the hospital where he is in serious but stable condition.
The next day a "person of interest" went to police. After interviewing him, police determined the shooting was unintentional. Police have not identified the person nor have they said how the shooting happened.


Baldr Odinson said...

And why have a gun at church? Was the patron afraid of being attacked while raising funds for cancer patients? Worried about rabid satanists attacking? Afraid of balloons?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Missouri CCW law states that in accordance with Section 571.107 RSMo., you may not carry a concealed
weapon in the following places:
...any church or place of worship; without permission of Minister or person representing religious

Anonymous said...

As someone who was at the trivia that night and seated next to the victim's table, I can say that without a doubt the gun owner knew their weapon was fired. 1)Someone in attendance said that she could smell a burning smell after the gun discharged. She did not know where the smell came from but it was close to her. 2)The gun fell onto the floor and someone picked it up and gave it back to the owner. 3) The gun owner got out of the church hall immediately after the gun fired, while most others were leisurely cleaning up their tables. 4) There were no other "balloon popping sounds." The only pop noise was the extremely loud gun discharge and everyone assumed it was a balloon being popped. (Though in hindsight, the noise was too loud to have been a balloon pop.)
Thanks to the gun owner's cowardice it took approximately 10-15 minutes before anyone saw blood and figured out that the victim was shot. Immediately after being shot, the victim was still standing up and appeared to be clutching his chest. Everyone at his table and close to him thought that he was joking around. After standing for a while, he went down to his knees. He wasn't able to speak, so still no one knew what was wrong. It was later still that he layed down and someone saw the blood.
Had the gun owner said "OMG, my gun discharged is everyone okay?" the victim may have received immediate medical treatment.
The gun owner's cowardice could have cost the victim his life.
Also, the victim was shot in his lower back. Had he not stood up to clean off his table and instead remained sitting down, he would have been shot in the back of his head.
The trivia participants were detained in the church from 11 pm to 4 am. No one was searched until *they were leaving the church to go home.* We could have been locked down with the gun owner! The amount of police force called in to assist from surrounding agencies had to have been at a huge cost to taxpayers. All of that could have been avoided had the gun owner immediately confessed.
Charges were not filed against the gun owner and it was called an "accident." This huge miscarriage of justice is an outrage and an insult to the community. There seems to be two sets of rules- one for the everyday Joes and one for the people who know someone in a position of authority. Otherwise how can anyone explain charges not being filed? Anyone can commit a crime and claim it to be an accident. There are way too many facts that point to the gun owner being completely aware of his weapon discharging and that coupled with leaving a scene of a crime should result in criminal charges.

Ohh Shoot said...

Thank you for the account of what happened at the church. This blog relies solely on newspaper stories, which are often lacking in details.
As for not being charged with a crime, the term "accident" is often used as an excuse for culpability. Something lax gun laws allow.
It is unfortunately that this person felt the need to carry a loaded, hidden weapon to a church gathering. Hopefully he will use more caution in the future.
I hope the victim has made a full recovery.