Monday, April 30, 2012

Man showing off gun for new security guard job unintentionally shoots and kills friend

36-year-old Robert Jones, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was about to start a job as a security guard. He took a gun-safety class in order to obtain an armed security-guard certificate and he got a concealed weapons permit.
The day before he was to start his new job he was showing off his new gun, which he thought was unloaded. He unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting his friend, Sandrea Smith, 35, in the left cheek. Sandrea died at the scene.
Jones was arrested and charged with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering another person, and weapons charges.
It should be noted that Jones' concealed weapons permit was issued by Florida, not Pennsylvania. While reports did not indicate if Jones had been denied a Pennsylvania permit, it is possible for those denied a permit in Pennsylvania to apply for a permit in Florida that will be recognized in Pennsylvania. A bill to close this concealed weapons permit loophole was introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature but failed to pass.

Friday, April 27, 2012

For the second time man "accidentally" shoots bullet into neighbor's apartment. Police say there's nothing they can do.

Michael Cornell, of Jacksonville, Florida was at home Wednesday night when a bullet came flying through the wall of his home from the apartment next door. Cornell said the bullet landed on the staircase in his home just minutes after his 8-year-old daughter had been playing on the stairs. According to Cornell, this is the second time in the past few years his neighbor has unintentionally fired a bullet into his home while cleaning his gun.
Both times Cornell called the police, and both times the police said there was nothing they could do. According to the police, "the law favors the gun owner and not those affected. As no one was injured, the law does not allow enforcement to apprehend or cite the offender."
A reporter tried to interview the neighbor, but he declined to answer the door. The reporter did note that the truck in front of the neighbor's townhouse has a bumper sticker that reads "Gun Control means never having to say I missed you."
Cornell has written to the mayor of Jacksonville in an attempt to find some relief from the situation. The letter reads, in part:
I am awake at this hour as my daughter cannot sleep. My wife is not consolable given this event. By law, I have no avenue of recourse to prevent this person from repeating this event, unless I or my family are injured, or worse. To state this is unacceptable is an understatement of epic proportions.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Father leaves loaded, unlocked gun on truck seat, toddler finds it, shoots brother

A Port Arthur, Texas man left his holstered pistol on the seat of his truck and went inside his house to get something. The gun was loaded and did not have a safety lock.
News reports differ as to whether the man's two young boys were in the truck, or playing in the yard, but either way, while he was in the house his 2-year-old son was able to get the 9mm Glock handgun. The boy discharged the gun, shooting his 3-year-old brother in the backside. The boy was taken to the local hospital and later transferred to Houston for treatment. His prognosis is good, but he is still in serious condition.
Child Protective Services have placed the 2-year-old boy with relatives while the incident is under investigation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dog knocks over shotgun, gun discharges, shoots 8-year-old girl

An 8-year-old Gerber, California girl was watching television in her living room with her 7-year-old friend when a shotgun in the dining room discharged. The pellets went through the arm of the couch and struck the girl in her bicep and abdomen, causing major injuries.
According to the police report, the shotgun had been left loaded and propped against a wall with the butt of the gun on a small wicker chair. Because no one else was in the room at the time, police speculate that one of the several dogs in the home bumped the wicker chair, causing the shotgun to fall.
The girl was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and later air-lifter to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment.
Because guns are the only consumer product not regulated by a federal agency for safety standards there is no recall mechanism for a gun that discharges when dropped. Nor is there a federal requirement that guns be manufactured in such a way to avoid this kind of discharge.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Man unintentionally shoots self and wife during gun safety class

54-year-old Michael Deel, of Roanoke, Virginia, and his wife, 49-year-old Michelle, were taking a gun safety course at a private home in Bedford, VA. The instructor told police he left the room for a moment when he heard a gunshot. He returned to find the couple had been injured.
Michael was holding a .45-caliber handgun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon. The bullet hit him in the hand then passed through his hand and struck his wife in the leg. The couple was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Deel called the shooting a "stupid accident."
Reports did not indicate why the couple was taking the course. No firearm safety training is required in Virginia before purchasing a gun, but safety training is required in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit. However, as of 2009, Virginia residents may fulfill the gun safety requirement through an on-line course, such as the one at The Concealed Carry Institute. The course consists of "65 minutes of our time-tested handgun safety class, followed by a 20 question test." The course does not require that you ever actually hold or fire a gun, but is enough to get you a permit to carry a loaded, hidden gun in Virginia.

Metropolitan Museum guard unintentionally shoots himself

A security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City unintentionally shot himself in the leg while cleaning his gun in the basement of the building. The museum employs a limited number of armed guards who are not allowed to take their weapons out of the building so must service them there.
The guard was taken to New York Presbyterian Medical Center and is in stable condition. He has worked for the museum for 24 years and is expected to make a full recovery.
A museum spokesperson said the public was never in danger. He declined to say how many armed guards the museum has but did say the museum "has been well-protected by these uniformed guards for over 100 years. They're there to protect the public and the art. Its worked out well so far. This was a unique event, clearly a freak accident."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two separate incidents in Kentucky where men unintentionally shot through apartment floor into apartment below

23-year-old Scotty Scruggs, of Louisville, Kentucky, unintentionally fired a shot from his .40-caliber Glock that went through the floor of his apartment into the apartment below. The bullet narrowly missed hitting the occupant of the apartment.
Scruggs left the scene after the incident, which happened around 10:30 in the morning, and did not check on his neighbor. He later turned himself into police and was charged with wanton endangerment.
Later in the week,just a few miles away, 44-year-old Charles Hatchell, also of Louisville, was cleaning his gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon, sending a bullet through the floor into the apartment below. The bullet almost hit a man sitting at his dining room table.
Hatchell admitted to drinking earlier in the evening. Police found the gun under his bed. Hatchell also neglected to check on his neighbor, telling police he was afraid of what he might find.
Hatchell was charged with wanton endangerment and tampering with evidence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

State park manager unintentionally shoots and kills himself

54-year-old Steve Williams, park manager for Oklahoma's Tenkiller State Park, Greenleaf State Park, and Cherokee Landing State Park, unintentionally shot and killed himself at his home last week. His wife reported that he had gone to a back room to clean a gun when she heard a shot. Wilson then came into the living room, collapsed and died.
Because the shooting took place on state property the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation. But no foul play is suspected.
Wilson was named Oklahoma's Park Manager of the year in 2000. According to reports "his love for hunting and fishing was second only to his love for his family and friends."
He leaves behind his wife of 37 years and two grown children.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teen dies of complications of unintentional shooting that occurred in 2010

When Jalisa Goodman, of Buffalo, New York, was 13 years old she was at a friend's house, talking on the phone when a bullet came bursting through the wall behind her and hit her in the neck. A group had been partying in the room on the other side of the wall when Greyler Williams unintentionally discharged a .38-caliber handgun, shooting Jalisa.
Jalisa was left paralyzed by the bullet that lodged in her spine.
Williams was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Since the incident, Jalisa has been living at the Baker Victory long-term care facility.
"Though she couldn't speak, she seemed to be acknowledging us and our comments to her through facial movements," said her aunt.
Jalisa died unexpectedly this week of complications from the shooting.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Man with mental and physical disabilities buys gun, unintentionally shoots and kills himself

24-year-old Jonathan Smith, of Limestone County, Alabama, had recently purchased a handgun. On Friday he took a gun-safety course, on Sunday he unintentionally shot and killed himself.
According to news reports, Smith "had mental and physical disabilities" including having multiple sclerosis and attending special education classes in high school.
According to the sheriff, "It was an accidental shooting. He was playing with the gun when it discharged, striking him in the chest."
Because of Alabama's weak gun laws, Smith had been able to obtain a concealed weapons permit for the gun. He only had the gun a few weeks before the shooting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five months later teen struggles to recover from unintentional shooting

In December, 14-year-old Ethan Younger, of Phoenix, Arizona, was at a sleepover at a friend's house. One of the boys was playing with a loaded shotgun and unintentionally shot Ethan in the leg. The blast obliterated his femoral artery, causing severe bleeding.
Ethan was rushed to Phoenix Children's Hospital where he began a long, difficult journey to recovery. "It was a nightmare, you just feel helpless," said Ethan's mother Kristine. Ethan's recovery is chronicled in a blog, He has undergone fourteen surgeries in the past five months. According to a recent blog entry:
We recently learned that Ethan is going to need an artery replacement within 10 years....He will also need artery replacements about every 10 years which was kind of hard news. We knew he would need a vascular surgeon all his life, but we were not expecting major tune ups every ten years.
Ethan is also doing volunteer fundraising for Phoenix Children's Hospital, as a way of giving back to the hospital that saved his life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Man dies after unintentionally shooting himself at shooting range

60-year-old Benny Patterson, of North Charleston, South Carolina, was at Trader World Gun Shop and Indoor Range doing some shooting at the indoor gun range. According to witnesses, Patterson was shooting on a lane when he stopped to inspect the firearm. He turned the handgun toward himself and unintentionally discharged it. The bullet struck him in the chest.
Patterson was taken to the hospital and died shortly after.
The indoor range has been temporarily closed.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Man showing handgun to teens unintentionally discharges weapon shooting both boys

35-year-old Mansa Evans of Santa Maria, California was home with two teenage boys. He was showing them his semi-automatic handgun and had removed the magazine but failed to clear the chamber so didn't realize the gun was still loaded. Evans unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting the boys at close range.
The bullet struck the first boy in the face then kept going and struck the second boy in the neck and lodged in his spinal cord. Both boys suffered substantial injuries. They were taken to hospitals that specialize in treating gun shot wounds.
Because of the age of the victims no more information is being released.
Evans was arrested and charged with felony child endangerment.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Man unintentionally shoots himself after leaving gun show in Georgia

25-year-old William Penfield, of Hinesville, Georgia, went to a gun show at the Savannah Civic Center. He told police that before he went into the gun show he unloaded his handgun and left it in his vehicle in the parking garage. After leaving the show he was in his car reloading the gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon, shooting himself in the leg.
Penfield was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Just two months ago another man unintentionally shot himself after leaving a gun show at the same civic center. 26-year-old Charles Lake had just bought a handgun at the gun show and was in his car trying to load the gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon, shooting himself in the leg. He was treated and released at a local hospital.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Organs from girl killed in unintentional shooting given to 6 children

13-year-old Ellie Kelly, of Harlem, Georgia was at a friend's house getting ready for a school dance. 14-year-old Zach Provance, who lived at the house, started showing off a .38-caliber handgun. Zach unintentionally discharged the gun and the bullet hit Ellie in the head, lodging in her brain.
According to the sheriff, Zach admitted that he shot the gun. "He was messing around with the gun. He thought it was cool; showing it off. It accidentally discharged. He explained that he was trying to release the hammer with his finger in front of it so he could ease it back down when it slipped off his finger and discharged."
Ellie was airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment.
Zach was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter. The police also found marijuana, two other handguns and a rifle inside the home. Zach's father, 54-year-old Richard Provance, was charged with manufacture and possession of drugs and possession of a gun during commission of a crime (drugs). Georgia does not have any Child Access Protection laws so Provance was not charged with leaving a loaded handgun where a minor could get hold of it nor was he charged in association with Ellie's shooting.
Doctors at Medical College told Ellie's mother, Cynthia Lowe, her daughter was alive, but her brain damage was extensive. "There was no surgery they could do to help her because her brain was swelling so fast," Lowe said.
Ellie had talked with her mother a year ago about organ donation. After hearing the story of an organ donation from a 14-year-old girl who had been shot, Ellie told her mother "if anything ever happened she would want someone else to live on, because there would be no reason burying something that another child could use," said her mother.
Ellie's lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys and heart went to six different children. Lowe is comforted knowing the organs saved other children's lives. "I'm hoping and praying it does," she said. "Them being children, they still have a whole life ahead of therm. And I feel like part of Ellie is going to continue to live."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Two men unintentionally shot and killed by man cleaning handgun

25-year-old Kevin McElrath, of London, Kentucky was cleaning his .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun at his home in the early hours of Thursday morning. He took the magazine out of the gun and didn't realize there was a bullet still in the chamber. Kevin unintentionally discharged the gun. The bullet struck him in the head and then kept going. It then struck his friend, 22-year-old Eric Partain, in the head.
Kevin died at the scene. Eric was airlifted to the hospital in Lexington where he died later in the day.
"I've never seen anything as tragic as this," said a sheriff's spokesperson. "A very unusual case."