Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2-year-old unintentionally shoots and kills woman in Wal-Mart

A 29-year-old woman was shopping with four children at the Wal-Mart in Hayden, Idaho. According to police, one of the kids reached into the woman's purse and unintentionally discharged a handgun that was in the bag.

The woman was shot and died at the scene. The child who discharged the gun was about 2-years-old.

Deputies said the woman and the children were near the electronics section when the incident happened.  The woman was in town for the holidays and is not from the area.

After looking at video surveillance from the store and talking to eye witnesses deputies determined the shooting was unintentional.

Deputies said the woman had a concealed weapons permit.

Friday, December 5, 2014

3-year-old unintentionally shoots & kills his mother

26-year-old Christa Engles, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was changing her 1-year-old daughter's diaper when her 3-year-old son found a loaded, unlocked semiautomatic handgun under the couch.  The toddler unintentionally discharged the weapon, shooting his mother in the head.

Soon after, Christa's mother arrived at the home and found her and the two children covered in blood.  Christa was rushed to the hospital where she died a short time later.

Christa was an enrolled military member.  Police report there were several guns in the home.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Woman shot with own gun trying to fend off robber

A Tulsa, Oklahoma woman was having a garage sale at her house when a man and a woman knocked her to the floor, hit her and took the cash bag from the garage sale.

When the robbers let her up, the victim took a handgun from her back waistband and pointed it at them.  The man grabbed the gun and in the ensuing struggle the gun discharged, shooting the victim in the hand.

The robbers managed to get the gun and left with the gun and the money.

The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment where she was listed in serious condition.

19-year-old Allicia Love was arrested a short time later about a block from the scene of the robbery.  She admitted to police that she knocked the woman down while her companion took the money.  Police are still looking for the male robber.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

13-year-old shot & killed when gun unintentionally shot in motel room next to his

13-year-old Nathan Clark, of Lewisville, North Carolina traveled with his soccer team to Raleigh for a soccer tournament.  The team was staying at the Comfort Suites in Raleigh when Randall Vater, who was staying in the room next door, unintentionally discharged a firearm.

The bullet went through the wall and struck Nathan, who was in bed asleep, in the head.  According to a 911 call, Nathan was "not responding to anything and he's bleeding from the back of his head."  The caller went on to say, "We were sitting here and I heard a noise and got up to check on him and there is blood everywhere. I heard a gurgling noise. We have no idea what happened. We all went to bed."

Nathan was pronounced dead at the scene.

42-year-old Vater was arrested for involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Vater is a habitual felon with 28 prior convictions, prosecutors said. Reports did not indicate where Vater got the gun. Had he tried to buy a gun from a licensed dealer, a background check would have turned up his record and denied his purchase.  However, North Carolina allows for the private sale of guns without a background check.

Nathan's soccer team released a statement that read, in part, "Nathan was fun-loving, energetic and brought a joy and a special spark to the Calvary boys soccer team. Nathan will be greatly missed by the whole Calvary soccer family."

This is not the first time this blog has posted a story about someone being unintentionally shot by a stranger in the hotel room next door.  Here a few others:

Woman shot and killed in motel when guest in another room unintentionally discharges gun

Trial date set for man who shot gun in motel room, killing man in room next door

Man showing off gun in hotel room unintentionally shoots gun wounds man in room next door

Thursday, November 6, 2014

3 incidents this week of toddlers finding loaded guns and shooting someone

A 4-year-old boy in Lorain, Ohio found a loaded, unlocked .40-caliber handgun in a dresser drawer in his parents' bedroom. He and his 3-year-old sister were playing alone in the bedroom when the boy unintentionally shot his sister in the head. The girl is in critical condition in the hospital.

The father initially tried to make up a story about two men with hooded sweatshirts who shot at him and missed, shooting his daughter instead.  "He did make up a contrived story," said a police spokesperson. "I don't know if he was trying to protect the four year old or protect himself, if he's not allowed to have a handgun or not."

Prosecutors will decide if the father will be charged for lying to police and for not securing the gun.

In Houston, Texas, 20-year-old Patrick Sanders was sleeping on a couch when a loaded handgun fell out of his pants on to the floor.  A 3-year-old boy saw the gun and picked it up.  When Sanders tried to grab the gun away from the toddler, the boy unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting Sanders in the face.  Sanders is in critical condition in the hospital.

In Baltimore, Maryland a two toddler were playing in a bedroom when one of the children was "able to access a shotgun" and unintentionally shot a 3-year-old in the lower leg. The toddler is in the hospital but his condition has not been released.  Police said the loaded, unlocked gun was left in the toddler's bedroom and they are still trying to determine how this happened.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MLB All-Star Jose Canseco unintentionally shoots himself while cleaning gun

Six-time Major League Baseball All-Star Jose Canseco was cleaning his handgun at the kitchen table in his Las Vegas home when he unintentionally discharged the weapon.

According to reports, the 50-year-old former baseball star had recently visited the shooting range and was cleaning his handgun around 3 o'clock in the afternoon when he shot himself in the left hand.  He did not realize there was still a round left in the chamber.

His fiancee, Leila Knight, told reporters, "I heard the gun go off and saw his middle finger hanging by a string."

Knight added that Canseco will either have to have the finger amputated or have full reconstruction surgery.  Doctors have already told the couple Conseco will never have full use of his hand again.

Monday, October 27, 2014

3-year-old unintentionally shot and killed during game of "gun tag"

26-year-old Galen Hawk, of Ninepipes, Montana, was playing with his 3-year-old nephew, Lonato Moran-Allen.

According to documents, Hawk saw the boy holding his handgun and he took it away from him.  Hawk said the boy then ran down the hallway, looking back toward him while pretending to shoot a toy gun. Hawk responded by pointing his gun at Lonato and pulled the trigger.

The gun discharged, shooting the boy in the back.  The boy died at the scene.

Hawk said he thought the gun wasn't loaded because he had the magazine for the gun in his pocket.  He also told investigators that before the shooting he had been drinking whisky and alcoholic lemonade.

Hawk was charged with negligent homicide.  He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Trooper killed in unintentional shooting during training exercise

Pennsylvania state trooper 26-year-old David Kedra, of East Coventry Township, was taking part in a training exercise at a Plymouth Twp. firing range.  According to reports, Kedra was in a classroom for a demonstration of how to break down and clean a service weapon.  An experienced state police firearms instructor was handling a gun and unintentionally discharged the weapon.

The bullet struck Kedra in the chest. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital and died a short time later.

Kedra was raised in Philadelphia.  He graduated from Temple University in 2010 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police in June 2012 and was assigned to a station upon graduation in January of 2013. He had recently moved into a new house with his fiance in East Coventry Township.

Investigators have not released the identity of the instructor who shot Kedra.  The incident is being investigated by the state police and the district attorney's office.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Teacher unintentionally discharges gun during class

James Whitmer is a retired FBI agent who is currently an instructor at Technology Center of DuPage in Addison, Illinois. Before class Friday afternoon he was showing three students a gun in an office adjacent to the classroom when he unintentionally discharged the weapon.

The bullet struck a file cabinet and a hollow wall and ended up lodged in another classroom.  Fortunately, no one was injured.

Whitmer was not authorized to have the gun on school property.  He has been questioned by police, but no charges have been filed.

The school offers classes to area high school juniors and seniors. The school contacted parents of the students who were in the class to "express our sincere apology that their children's safety was put at risk."

Monday, September 29, 2014

Unintentional shootings by people who carry concealed weapons in public

The Atlantic Citylab takes a look at people who carry concealed weapons and keep unintentionally shooting themselves in public bathrooms. In most cases the self-inflicted victims were pulling up or lowering their pants when their concealed weapon fell out, hit the floor, and fired.

The list includes:

  • An elementary school teacher in Utah who discharged her gun in the faculty bathroom. The bullet shattered a toilet, sending shards into her leg.
  • An off-duty cop who unintentionally fired his gun in the restroom in a Target in Honolulu. 
  • A New Jersey detective who unintentionally shot himself in the bathroom at work.
  • A customer at a Burger King in Pennsylvania who panicked when his 9mm handgun unintentionally discharged in the men's room. 

Guns are the only consumer product manufactured in American not regulated by a federal agency for health and safety. Guns that discharge when dropped clearly have a design flaw yet the Consumer Product Safety Commission has no authority to issue a recall on any gun or demand they be redesigned.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

19-year-old unintentionally shoots & kills friend while playing with handgun

19-year-old Vinell Ayers, of Memphis, Tennessee, and Fontaine Craft were playing with a handgun while sitting in the back seat of a Ford Explorer at a gas station. According to police, the two were playing with the gun and pointing it at each other.

Ayers unintentionally discharged the gun and the bullet hit 20-year-old Derrick Glasper who was sitting in the driver's seat.  Glasper was hit in the back and upper chest.  Gasper was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries.

Ayers attempted to hide the gun under a shed at the back of the gas station.  He was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and tampering with evidence.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2-year-old unintentionally discharges father's gun in Wendy's restaurant

Matthew Magish, a Clay Country, Florida sheriff's deputy was off duty and standing in line at a Wendy's restaurant with his 2-year-old son and the boy's maternal grandparents.  Magish was carrying his personal .380-caliber Kel-Tec semiautomatic handgun inside his right front pants pocket.

According to police reports, the boy stuck his hand into the pocket looking for a snack and unintentionally discharged the handgun.

The boy was struck in the foot by a shattered bullet fragment. Bullet fragments also struck the boy's grandfather as well as two female customers standing nearby. The boy and the three adults were treated at the scene by emergency medical personnel.

Magish remains on duty while the investigation into the incident continues.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Two months after state legalizes guns on campuses, Idaho professor shoots himself in foot

An Idaho State University assistant professor was teaching a chemistry class when a handgun inside his pocket unintentionally discharged, shooting him in the foot.  He was treated and released from a local hospital.

A new law, passed over the objection of the presidents of the state's leading universities, allows guns to be carried on university grounds.  The law went into effect on July 1. The professor did have the enhanced concealed-carry permit that allowed him to carry the loaded, hidden handgun on campus.

Guns are still banned in areas of the physical science complex where nuclear research is done, but guns are allowed in the chemistry lab were the incident happened.  There are 19 students enrolled in the chemistry course, but it is unclear how many were in the classroom at the time.

The university has declined to release the name of the instructor and is conducting a review of the incident.

9-year-old girl unintentionally shoots and kills gun range instructor

43-year-old Alexander MacLachlan, of Weekhawken, New Jersey, was vacationing with his wife and three children in Las Vegas when they decided to visit The Last Stop Burger and Bullets in White Hills, Arizona.

The family took a monster truck ride and then headed over to the shooting range. Alexander was the first to shoot a weapon. His 9-year-old daughter went next.

The gun range instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca, showed the 9-year-old how to use an Uzi automatic submachine gun. He showed her how to shoot the gun, how to stand and helped her fire a few rounds. He then stepped back and let her fire the gun herself in the fully automatic mode.

The recoil from the Uzi wrenched the gun upward, shooting Vacca in the head. Vacca was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital where he died a few hours later.

The range's operator said the parents had signed waivers and added that they had never had a safety problem before and had a policy of allowing children 8 and older to fire guns under adult supervision.

Prosecutors said they do not plan to file any charges.  Vacca's family has said they feel sorry for the girl and do not blame her.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tourist killed by ricocheted bullet from unintentional gun discharge in Helen, Georgia

A woman from Texas was visiting the tourist town of Helen, Georgia when she was shot and killed Saturday night. 53-year-old Glenn Lampien, from Jasper, Ga, unintentionally discharged a small-caliber handgun outside the Old Heidelburg restaurant. The bullet hit him in the hand, then ricocheted off the pavement and struck the woman on the other side of the street.

The woman was struck in the side. Bystanders attempted to administer first aid but she died at the scene.

Police have not yet released the woman's name. In a statement, the police said Lampien would be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The shooting occurred less than two months after a new law took effect in Georgia that greatly extended gun owners' rights to carry weapons in public places.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Motorcyclist unitentionally shot when handgun goes off during crash

A 60-year-old Pennsylvania man was riding his motorcycle in Black Hawk, Colorado when he was hit by a Chevrolet sedan. As he was thrown from his bike, a handgun he was carrying unintentionally discharged, shooting him in the chest.

The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries and was taken to a Denver hospital. Police recovered his handgun at the scene.

The driver of the sedan fled the scene. Police were able to locate him a short time later and arrested him for the hit-and-run.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Father unintentionally shoots daughter thinking she was an intruder

A Frederick County, Virginia man unintentionally shot his 16-year-old daughter thinking she was an intruder trying to break into his home.

According to police, around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday when the girl's father was getting ready for work, an alarm system in the house told the man the garage door had just been opened. "When he went to go investigate what had set off the alarm, he heard some banging and rustling around in the garage. At that particular point, he obtained a firearm that he had there in the kitchen area."

The man went into the garage, but didn't turn the light on. He felt someone was "coming at him" and fired the gun, hitting his daughter in the torso. The girl had snuck out of the house earlier and was trying to sneak back into the home.

After realizing his mistake, he rushed her to Winchester Medical Center. In his haste, he wrecked his car. Fire and Rescue transported the girl to the hospital where she remains in stable condition.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's office will determine whether or not any charges will be filed.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Man wearing only a towel and carrying a gun takes three small children to get pizza, unintentionally discharges gun

27-year-old Phillip Engle, of Muskegon Township, Michigan, told police he took four hits of acid before showing up at Happy's Pizza wearing only a towel and carrying a handgun.

Engle had three children with him - ages 6,4 and 3.  According to police reports, Engle stood outside the business and pounded on a glass window, smashing the glass. He also unintentionally discharged his .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun in the process, damaging the door to the business.

After the gun went off, Engle walked back to his home. Police arrested him there when they found him sitting on the porch still holding the gun.

Child Protect Services were notified and Engle was arrested and charged with four misdemeanors: malicious destruction of property; careless discharge of a firearm causing property damage; reckless use of a firearm; and possession of a firearm while under the influence.

Police also found evidence that Engle had fired a gun inside his vehicle, damaging the interior.  However, it isn't clear when that gunfire incident occurred in relation to the Happy's Pizza incident.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Joe Riggs unintentionally shoots himself, putting UFC return on hold

Joe Riggs is an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight fighter.  He was scheduled to make his return to the UFC after eight years away on Sept. 13th.  But his return has been put on hold after he unintentionally shot himself while cleaning his handgun.

Riggs was at his home in Arizona when he unintentionally discharged the handgun, shooting himself in his hand and upper thigh. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

The UFC is currently looking for a replacement for the Sept. 13th fight.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pregnant woman shot and killed in unintentional shooting

25-year-old Katherine Hoover of Inverness, Florida was at a friend's house in Brooksville Saturday night.  Katherine and her husband, Carson, were looking at William DeHayes' gun collection, admiring his .22 caliber revolver.  William was holding the gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon, shooting Katherine in the head. 

Katherine was rushed to the local hospital and airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.  She died of her injuries.

Katherine was five months pregnant and an effort was made to save the unborn child.  Physicians removed the fetus from his dying mother but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Katherine is survived by her 6-year-old son Nicholas.

Police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been filed against 33-year-old DeHayes.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Woman hospitalized after unintentional shooting in hotel room

27-year-old Amanda Soape, of Mineola, Texas, had rented a room in the local Best Western Inn. According to reports, Amanda was there with another female when two males stopped by to visit.

One of the men had a small caliber handgun and was showing off the gun when it unintentionally discharged, striking Amanda in the jaw.   She was taken to the medical center in Tyler for treatment. Her injuries were described as non-life threatening but she remains hospitalized.

No charges have been filed at this time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Town official wants to close gun range after bullet grazes neighbor

A woman was standing in the back yard of a home in Greenburgh, New York when a bullet fragment grazed her leg.  The injury was minor and she was treated at the scene but it raised concern about the safety of a nearby gun range.

Testing confirmed that the bullet came from the Westchester County Police Revolver and Rifle League.  The gun range is operated by a private, non-profit organization and has been operational for seventy years.  However, in that time housing developments and a middle school have grown around them.

Paul Feiner, the Greenburgh Town Supervisor, wants to see the range closed. "I don't think a gun range should be located in a residential neighborhood," he said.

Feiner added that when he contacted the state he was stunned to learn there are no regulations governing gun ranges.  "There's no inspection, they don't need any approvals," he said.

The group has voluntarily ceased operations while police investigate the incident.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Woman unintentionally shot at Pennsylvania gun show

Krysta Gearhart, of Orangeville, Pennsylvania was unintentionally shot at the Eagle Arms Guns Show at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds on Saturday.

According to police, a firearm vendor at the gun show, Geoffrey Hawk, was demonstrating how to use a concealed carry holster.  Instead of using a plastic model gun, Hawk was using a semi-automatic .380 handgun.  Hawk had removed the magazine but didn't realize there was a bullet still left in the chamber.

Hawk unintentionally discharged the gun.  The bullet struck Krysta in the leg. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police have referred the case to the district attorney to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stray bullets hit 10-year-old girl, just miss her 8-year-old sister sleeping nearby

Last month, Indianapolis police responded to a triple homicide in Lakeside Manor. An attempted drug robbery turned into a shoot out where three people were killed. Several nearby homes were struck by stray bullets. One of the homes belonged to Darye and Dija Henry.

The Henrys told reporters that their 10-year-old daughter was hit in the leg by one of the bullets that hit their home. Another bullet hit the pillow of their 8-year-old daughter who was in bed sleeping.

Their daughter was rushed to the hospital were she was treated for a non-life threatening injury.

20-year-old Montrel Humphrey was arrested and charged with three counts of murder and one count of robbery.

In 2011 Dija produced a play called A Song for Peace to bring awareness to crime and violence in Indianapolis.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Stray bullet zips through man's apartment for the second time in less than a year

Larry Weikle was in his Webster Street apartment in San Francisco Sunday night when he heard an unusual noise. Upon investigation, he found a bullet had crashed through a bedroom window and lodged in the wall.

This is the second time in less than a year this has happened. "Last July 3, a bullet came in the front window and hit the ceiling above my head," Larry said.

Larry's friends have told him to move but he doesn't feel he can afford to. "I would move, but I'm in a two-bedroom apartment paying $2,200 a month, and there's no way I can find anything like that. I feel like here I am, working full time, paying my taxes, and I have to dodge bullets."

Monday, June 2, 2014

Woman shopping in Walmart shot when man's pistol falls

26-year-old Virginia Thompson was shopping with her newborn son at a Walmart in Columbus, Indiana when she was unintentionally shot when another shopper dropped his gun.

56-year-old Tony Ward told police that his .22-caliber handgun was in a holster when it fell from his waistband.

The gun discharged when it hit the ground. The bullet ricocheted off a bottle and hit Virginia in the upper arm. She was treated at the scene by medics and declined to go to the hospital.

Police said that Ward has a concealed weapons permit and he will not be charged in the incident.

Guns are the only consumer product manufactured in American not regulated by a federal agency for health and safety. Guns that discharge when dropped clearly have a design flaw yet the Consumer Product Safety Commission has no authority to issue a recall on any gun or demand they be redesigned.

This was the second unintentional shooting at a Walmart this month. A man in Phoenix unintentionally shot himself in the leg when a gun he was carrying on his hip was unintentionally discharged.

For more, read the blog Walmart Shootings.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

6-year-old shoots and kills grandfather with unattended assault rifle

Juan Martinez, Sr. was having a barbecue with his son and other family and friends at their home in Homestead, Florida. At some point, Martinez' son, 28-year-old Juan Jr., brought out his assault rifle to show his friend.

According to reports, while outside, Martinez, Jr. removed the magazine, looked inside, and reinserted it into the magazine well. His friend did not wish to touch the rifle, so Martinez handed the rifle to his father, Martinez, Sr. The father placed the gun on a table near the barbecue. The rifle was left unattended.

Martinez, Sr.'s 6-year-old grandson walked over to the table and pulled the trigger of the weapon. The gun fired, shooting Martinez, Sr. in the chest.

"I held him," said Martinez, Jr. "I watched him bleed out. He was breathing very heavy. Then, when the cops got here, they restrained me."

Martinez, Sr. was airlifted to the hospital but died of his injuries.

Martinez, Jr. was arrested and faces charges of culpable negligence of a firearm with easy access to a minor.

According to police, there were people drinking and doing drugs at the home. "Investigators informed us there was alcohol involved. Not only alcohol. We also had drugs. We had cocaine," said a Miami-Dade police detective.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Teen unintentionally shot and killed on father-son fishing trip

15-year-old Briar Newsome, of Carlton, Georgia was on a fishing trip with his father, Terry.  As Briar and his father were putting their boat in the river a rifle in the boat was unintentionally discharged, shooting Briar. Briar was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police, they had the rifle along in case they saw a wild hog. The police spokesperson added that the father was devastated and the incident is being treated as an accident.

According to Briar's obituary, he was in the ninth grade and "loved hunting and fishing with his dad as well as football and wrestling."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Man shoots gun on his front porch, wounds 8-year-old riding bicycle nearby

55-year-old Wayne Snowden, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was standing on the front porch of his home, armed with a 9mm Glock handgun.  According to reports, shortly before 5 p.m., Snowden was speaking with two men near the door to the residence while holding a gun in his hand.  He allegedly raised the handgun and fired a single shot, striking an 8-year-old boy as he rode his bicycle.

The bullet hit the boy in the leg and went "through-and-through."  He was flown to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia for treatment.

"An eight-year-old boy out riding his bike with a buddy on a warm spring evening in Chester County should not have to worry that he is going to be shot," said the district attorney. "The defendant was extraordinarily reckless."

Snowden's brother reportedly told police that Snowden collects guns and shoots them in the basement of his home.

Snowden was arrested and faces two felony counts of aggravated assault along with several misdemeanor counts of simple assault and reckless endangerment.  He is scheduled to appear in court June 5th.

Monday, May 19, 2014

4-year-old boy finds gun parents bought for protection, shoots & kills himself

4-year-old Cash Irby, Jr., of Merrillville, Indiana climbed on shelves in a closet in his parent's bedroom in order to get to the top shelf and the loaded, unlocked handgun that was stored there.

Cash took the gun back to his room and unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting himself in the head.  He was rushed to the local hospital where he died of his injuries.

His parents and his 5-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother were all home at the time of the shooting.

A family relative told reporters that the parents bought the gun for protection.  She described Cash as an affectionate child. "He would just come and kiss his dad, like every 10 minutes. He and his sister would play all the time, so well together."

Police are investigating the incident. Indiana law states that "an adult who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly provides a firearm to a child for any purpose other than those specified commits “dangerous control of a firearm,” a Class C felony."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alcohol a factor in unintentional death of 25-year-old

The sheriff's office has confirmed reports that alcohol was involved in the unintentional shooting death of 25-year-old Ivan Dolley of Harleton, Texas.

A group of friends were shooting at beer cans Sunday night when someone handed a shotgun barrel first to Ivan. The gun was unintentionally discharged and Ivan was shot in the abdomen. He was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries.

A local gun shop worker said the incident highlights the issue of gun safety. He said guns are "like a snake and the muzzle is the head and the head will bite you."

The sheriff continues to investigate the incident.

Monday, May 12, 2014

23-year-old on his way home from work killed by stray bullet

23-year-old Jesus Villegas Mendoza, of Stockton, California, was on his way home from work at a Trader Joe's warehouse when he was shot by a stray bullet.  Witnesses reported hearing three or four gunshots, one which went through Jesus' windshield and struck him in the head as he was driving on Main Street.

Jesus was married with a 20-month-old daughter. He was also a minister at a church just a little more than a mile from the scene of the shooting.

"He was a good Christian guy," said his sister. "He didn't drink. He didn't smoke.  He was a good brother, a good husband, a good father and a good friend. I can't believe this happened to him."

Police are investigating the shooting and have released a video of suspects in the shooting.

Friday, May 9, 2014

3-year-old shoots himself with gun his mother bought for protection

3-year-old Kevin Donald, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was playing in his mother's car when he found a loaded, unlocked gun in the glove compartment.  He began playing with the gun and discharged the weapon, shooting himself in the head.  He was rushed to the hospital where he remains in critical condition. According to reports, doctors are waiting for the swelling of his head to go down before doing surgery.

Donald's mother said she kept the gun in the car for protection.  She didn't keep the gun in the house on purpose, thinking it was safer in the car.  "This is the ghetto," said Kevin's aunt. "Anywhere you go there's someone trying to take something from you."

Kevin's aunt speculates the boy thought the gun was a toy. "He was curious. He probably thought it was a toy.  It was a little gun.  It didn't have a safety."  She added that Kevin's mother is a responsible gun owner and says what happened is a tragedy and something that was unexpected. "She has her license [to carry a loaded gun in public]," the aunt said. "She didn't just buy the gun. It's not a new guns. This was never meant to happen."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Child unintentionally shoots police chief with his own gun

57-year-old Frank Nucera is the police chief in Bordentown, New Jersey. He has been with the police department for 32 years and has been the police chief for 7 years.  Nucera was in the Bordentown Township Municipal Building on Tuesday when a child, described as a preteen, somehow got hold of the chief's holstered service weapon.

The child discharged the weapon and Nucera was shot in the leg.  He was rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

According to reports, the chief is also serving as town administrator in the small community.  He was inside the tax collector's office at the time.  The child's parent also had business in the tax office. 

It is unclear how the boy was able to get access to the gun.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Uncle showing off gun collection unintentionally shoots and kills 11-year-old nephew

11-year-old Hunter Pedersen, of Wayne County, New Jersey, was visiting his grandfather in Delaware Township.  Hunter asked his uncle, 34-year-old Chad Olm, if he could see his gun collection.  Olm lives in a room in the basement next to the laundry room.

Hunter, Olm and Olm's son, also 11, went into the basement where Olm keeps four guns in a gun safe. According to reports, Olm showed them his .357 Magnum handgun and let both boys handle the weapon and pull the trigger.  He also let both boys handle a .22 revolver and a 9 mm pistol.

The last gun he took out was a Glock 27, .40-caliber handgun with a laser sight. There was no magazine in the gun and Olm did not check to see if there was a bullet in the chamber. Olm pointed the laser on the ceiling, on the wall and then at his nephew. "Look, you have a red dot on your forehead," one of the boys said.

When Hunter reached for the gun, Olm pulled the trigger. Hunter was shot in the forehead and died at the scene.

Olm was arrested and charged with criminal homicide, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of children.

Monday, May 5, 2014

17-year-old dies in unintentional shooting

17-year-old Tony Lawson, of Tioga, Louisiana, was with some friends when they started fooling around with a gun. According to police, "the victim and some friends were mishandling a firearm that they presumed was unloaded, and it discharged, striking the victim once."

Sheriff's deputies performed CPR on Tony until he could be transported to the local hospital.  Tony was pronounced dead on arrival.

The shooting is under investigation and no charges have been filed.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Two teenagers playing with guns unintentionally shoot and kill woman

40-year-old Tina Castro, of Kansas City, Missouri, was seated in the front seat of a friend's car.  Two 16-year-old boys got into the back seat of the car.  One of the boys was a relative of Tina's. The boys started playing with guns in the car.

News reports do not indicate if the guns were already in the car or if the boys brought the guns into the car.  One of the boys unintentionally discharged one of the guns.  The bullet struck Tina in the back.

Her friend pulled her out of the car.  She died at the scene.

Police arrested the teens and charged them with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Toddler unintentionally shot and killed by his 4-year-old brother

A 19-month-old Wichita, Kansas toddler was playing with his 4-year-old brother and his 3-year-old half sister in his parents' bedroom.  The 4-year-old reached into the drawer of a nightstand and pulled the trigger of a loaded, unlocked handgun that was stored there.  The bullet went through the drawer and struck the toddler in his chest.  He was rushed to the hospital and died an hour later.

According to police, "it appears the 4-year-old did know where this firearm was. He had seen the firearm."

Police are investigating the incident and have not filed any charges.  "There is no law about how you can store a firearm," said a police spokesperson. But added that the adults in the house might be charged with a crime.

"These are extremely hard cases," he said. "That's a terrible tragedy. No 1-year-old should end up being shot in the chest, no matter what circumstances."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Man handling assault rifle fires bullet into neighbor's house

Jen Kurinky, of Bay Village, Ohio, was reading to her 3-year-old daughter, Ana, in her bedroom when she heard a bang that she thought was a limb falling on the roof. The next day, her father, Keir, discovered a bullet hole in Ana's bedroom closest.

"The cop said that if those two bullet fragments had hit Jen and Ada, they could have easily killed both of them," said Keir.

Police say the bullet came from next door, from inside the neighbor's house. They add that the bullet was homemade and the gun was an AR-15 assault rifle.

Police are pursuing misdemeanor charges against the 19-year-old gun owner. The chief said the teenager legally obtained the weapon and he had no other weapons.

Under federal law, those 18 and older can legally buy assault weapons provided they aren't prohibited from possessing firearms.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Man unintentionally shoots himself at traffic safety checkpoint

The Mississippi Highway Patrol report that a man unintentionally shot himself while stopped at a traffic safety checkpoint in Pontotoc, Mississippi.

The Highway Patrol had set up a roadblock on Highway 342 Saturday night.  A man who was stopped by the roadblock had a handgun stuck down next to the seat of the car.  The man tried to push the gun farther down under the seat and unintentionally discharged the weapon.

The bullet struck him in the arm, continued through his arm, hit the side of his face and exited through his ear.  He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Troopers have not released the man's name or his condition.  The incident is still being investigated and no charges have been filed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

13-year-old hit in head by stray bullet while waiting for a bus

13-year-old Gama Droiville, of Brooklyn, New York, was with his aunt and 8-year-old cousin, waiting for a bus, when a gunfight broke out near them.  Gama was hit twice in the head by stray bullets.  One of the bullets pierced his eye, the other hit behind one of his ears.

Gama was rushed to Kings County Hospital where he is listed in serious but stable condition.  Doctors don't think there is much chance of saving his eye.  Gama was in surgery for four hours to remove the bullet and try to save his eye.  The doctors have told his family if his eye hasn't improved in a week, they will have to remove it.

A 24-year-old man who police believe was the intended target was hit once in the leg.  He was able to walk to the hospital.  The shooter was caught on a security camera running down the street with the gun in his hand, firing shots.

Police have not yet made an arrest.

Friday, April 18, 2014

6-year-old finds gun, unintentionally shoots and kills woman

22-year-old Alexandra Santos, of Easley, South Carolina,  was riding in a car with her friend and her friend's 6-year-old daughter.  Alexandra was in the front passenger seat and the little girl was in the back.

The child found a gun on the floor board in the back, picked it up and unintentionally discharged the weapon.  The bullet went through the seat and struck Alexandra in the back.  She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police are investigating how a loaded gun ended up in the back seat of the car.

Alexandra leaves behind an 11-month-old daughter.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Convenience store worker who brought gun to work for protection unintentionally shoots co-worker

The Hop-In Convenience store in Eastman, Georgia was the target of an armed robbery Saturday morning. According to reports, a masked male entered the store with a handgun and demanded money.  The clerk on duty gave him money and the suspect fled.

The next day, after obtaining permission from the store manager, one of the clerks brought a handgun to work for protection.  While handling the gun, the clerk unintentionally dropped the gun on the floor.  When the handgun hit the floor it discharged.  The bullet hit a female store clerk in the leg.

Police did not release the name of the injured clerk but did say that her injury was not life-threatening.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2-year-old killed by stray bullet while playing in front yard

2-year-old John Swoveland, Jr., of South Bend, Indiana, was playing in the front yard of his aunt's home with his 7-year-old sister. About a block away, a gunfight broke out between two rival gangs.

A stray bullet hit John in the chest. He died at the scene.

According to a neighbor, at first the boy's parents thought he had been hit by a car. But then the mother saw blood along the edge of John's diaper and when she pulled up his shirt she saw the gunshot wound.

Police are still investigating the incident and no arrests have been made.

John's mother is currently expecting another child. Before John was born, his mother suffered another tragedy when her baby daughter died of natural causes at just nine days old.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Monster is Real

A message from States United calls for more measures to keep children safe from loaded, unlocked guns. Get involved, sign our petition at http://bit.ly/1qeJVkj

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2-year-old unintentionally shoots and kills his 11-year-old sister

11-year-old Jamara Stevens, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and her three siblings, a 14-year-old boy, 7-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy found an unlocked, loaded .357 caliber handgun on top of the refrigerator in their home.  The gun had been left there by their mother's boyfriend.

The children brought the gun upstairs.  At some point, the 2-year-old picked up the weapon, pointed it in Jamara's direction and pulled the trigger.  Jamara was shot in the chest, the bullet hit her heart.  She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police determined the 2-year-old boy pulled the trigger because he had traces of gun powder and a burn from the blast on his arm.

Police say this is not the first time they have been called to Jamara's home and that her mother is not cooperating with the investigation.  Police are still investigating and no charges have been filed yet. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lawmaker who sponsored "2nd Amendment Day" bill in Oklahoma unintentionally shoots someone while bird hunting

55-year-old Steve Vaughan is the Republican state representative from Ponca City, Oklahoma.  He is a conservative lawmaker who has sponsored a number of gun bills, including a 2011 bill to expand Stand Your Ground/Shoot First and a bill to create an official annual "Second Amendment Day" in Oklahoma.

Recently, he was pheasant hunting when he shot another hunter in the side of the head with a shotgun pellet from his 12-gauge shotgun.  Vaughan stated, "A bird got up and flew between us, oh probably 50 yards away.  I shot at the bird, and , I guess, one of my pellets hit this guy.... I'm a safety guy. I was so mad at myself for even thinking about shooting the bird in this direction where I knew he was down in there."

The victim, Drew Ihrig, who is a local attorney, said he has no ill will towards Vaughan. "This was a pure accident," he said.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kent State student unintentionally shoots himself, causes campus lockdown

24-year-old Quavaugntay Tyler is a freshman at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.  Wednesday night around 8 p.m. he got into an altercation with two female students near Bowman Hall.  According to officials, he was dating both women.

Tyler pulled a handgun out of his waistband and immediately unintentionally discharged the weapon.  He was shot in the left hand.

After the shooting, both women fled and Tyler asked a friend in one of the dorms to hide his backpack with the gun.  He then went to the hospital for treatment.

The campus went into lockdown after the shot was fired. KSU's notification system sent messages to students, staff and faculty. The lockdown wasn't lifted until 11 p.m.

Tyler told police he had the gun for protection.  He was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon on campus.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dad who fired shot into air, unintentionally killing daughter, sentenced to jail

34-year-old Deandre Kelley, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was drunk when he showed up at the home of his longtime girlfriend on a January night.  Kelley and his girlfriend, Kristina Lanza, started arguing and Kelley pulled out a gun and fired two shots into the air.

One of the bullets hit their daughter, 11-year-old Shanti, who was hiding in  an upstairs bedroom.

Kelley did not realize the girl had been shot and left the home.  Emergency services were called to the house around 3 am when Shanti was found bleeding in the bedroom.  She had been shot in the chest and died of her injuries.

Kelley pleaded guilty to once count of reckless homicide.  He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Woman shot and killed by stray bullet while standing next to her twin sister

39-year-old Norma Elizalde, of Santa Paula, California was inside her home, doing laundry with her twin sister. A stray bullet came in through the window and struck Norma in the neck. She died of her injuries.

Police determined that two people were standing outside Norma's home when a car drove by with two people they were involved in a fight with. One of the people in the car fired several rounds from a handgun at the people standing on the street. Neither Norma or anyone in her family were the intended target.

Norma leaves behind a husband, a 13-year-old son and a 16-year-old son.

Police have made an arrest in the killing.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Gun unintentionally discharges at Colorado Springs gun show

A vendor at a gun show in Colorado Springs, Colorado was setting up his products when one of his guns unintentionally discharged.  The bullet hit the floor and  "shattered upon impact, resulting in no damage and no injuries," said police.

The vendor said the weapon was test fired earlier in the week because it had been returned to him as defective  After test firing the weapon, the vendor removed the magazine but neglected to check to see if there was a bullet left in the chamber.   The vendor said the weapon discharged when the back of the gun was bumped during set up.

The vendor faces charges of prohibited use of a weapon and was asked to leave the gun show. 

The organizer of the gun show said that these unintentional discharge incidents happen occasionally at gun shows and in homes.  He said he doesn't see any reason to change safety procedures at future shows.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Father charged with felony in unintentional shooting death of son

34-year-old Jason Forshee, of Greensburg, Indiana was cleaning his M4 assault rifle when he left the gun unattended in the living room of his house.  Forshee told police he removed the magazine from the gun but didn't realize there was a bullet still in the chamber.

When Forshee was in the other room his 6-year-old son picked up the gun, pointed it at his 13-year-old brother Craig and pulled the trigger.  Craig was shot in the chest and died later that night in the hospital.

Forshee said he was only out of the room for 10 to 15 seconds when he heard the gun go off.

According to the police investigation, Forshee had let the 6-year-old hold the weapon before.  Just a short time before the shooting, Forshee was showing the gun to a plumber at the home and when the child asked to see the weapon, Forshee handed it to him.   This was not the only time Forshee had let the child handle the gun.

Forshee was charged with two felonies, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and dangerous control of a child.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Man arrested on drug charges after police come to his house to investigate roommate's unintentional shooting

28-year-old Coli Ayers, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was attempting to clear his handgun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon.  The bullet struck him in the jaw and caused extensive damage.  Police said he was "severely intoxicated" at the time. 

When police arrived at the residence they noticed some marijuana.  After obtaining a search warrant police confiscated 70 grams of marijuana as well as 14 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 12 glass vials that held a liquid they suspected was a steroid drug, 23 glass bottles for drugs and 255 syringes.

Police arrested Ayers' roommate, John Scruton, on drug possession charges.

Police also confiscated three conventional rifles, two shotguns and a .50-caliber, muzzle-loading, black-powder rifle.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/25/3731382/accidental-shooting-at-raleigh.html?sp=/99/102/110/113/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/25/3731382/accidental-shooting-at-raleigh.html?sp=/99/102/110/113/#storylink=cpy

Friday, March 21, 2014

Man unintentionally shot by neighbor target shooting with AR-15 assault rifle

Jeffrey Satterfield was visiting his mother in Elon, North Carolina when he was hit by a stray bullet. According to the sheriff's office, 24-year-old Dustin Stinson was target shooting with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle. A round went through some woods and through the door of a trailer. The bullet hit Satterfield in the ankle.

Satterfield was taken to the hospital for treatment and released. He was readmitted after he developed an infection.

Stinson has been charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

8-year-old unintentionally shoots his 9-year-old cousin

An 8-year-old boy and his 9-year-old female cousin were riding in the back seat of a car in Richfield, Utah. The boy was holding a .45-caliber handgun which he unintentionally discharged. The bullet hit his cousin.

According to police, the bullet "entered and exited the victim, and then exited the vehicle. At this time the victim is expected to be fine and is in stable condition."

Police are not releasing the names of the children nor are they saying where the gun came from or how the boy got hold of it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Man unintentionally shoots himself while driving, crashes car

A Flagstaff, Arizona man was returning from picking up his handgun at a gun store where it was being repaired.  While driving he noticed that the .45-caliber handgun was cocked.  He picked up the gun to try to uncock the firearm and unintentionally discharged the weapon.

The bullet hit him in the foot.  He decided to try and continue driving to the hospital but blacked out from the blood loss. His car crashed into a tree in front of a local hospice home.

Paramedics had to cut down the tree in order to remove him from the car.  He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The incident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

State trooper unintentionally shoots and kills pregnant wife

Joseph Miller, a Pennsylvania state trooper, was taking apart his .45-caliber handgun for cleaning.  He did not realize the gun was loaded and he unintentionally discharged the weapon.  The bullet hit his wife, JoAnne, in the upper body. She was taken to the hospital where she died soon after she was admitted.

JoAnne was 22 weeks pregnant.  Doctors performed an emergency cesarean but the baby did not survive. "The baby never had its own breathing or heartbeat," said the coroner.

The couple's two young children were also in the home at the time of the shooting.  They were not harmed.

Police describe Miller as distraught, but cooperative.  The incident is still under investigation. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Man looking at newly purchased handgun unintentionally shoots girlfriend

24-year-old Logan Cooper, of Olean, New York, was looking at a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun he had just purchased. While trying to dismantle the gun he unintentionally discharged the weapon.

The bullet struck Cooper in the finger and then hit his 28-year-old girlfriend, Connie Mascho, in the right shoulder.  Cooper was treated and released from the local hospital. But Mascho had to be airlifted to a medical center in Buffalo.  She was listed in critical condition.

Cooper was arrested and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree assault. Because he did not have a permit for the gun, he was also charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

A police spokesman stated that "according to both parties, it was a total accident.  I don't think he was too knowledgeable in the use of firearms."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

19-year-old on Spring Break in Florida unintentionally shot

19-year-old Katlin Moore, of Quinton, Alabama was with friends in Panama City Beach, Florida on Spring Break.  Moore was helping unload bags out of a vehicle on the 12th floor of a parking garage.  She tossed a red duffel bag on the concrete and when the bag hit the ground a 9mm Cobra Derringer pistol inside the bag unintentionally discharged.

Moore was shot in the leg.  The bullet went straight through her left calf and grazed the back of her right let.  She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The gun belonged to her friend, 21-year-old Ancelmo Diaz.  According to reports, police have ruled the shooting an "accident" and don't expect to file charges.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Couple injured in unintentional shooting

24-year-old Jeff Massey and his girlfriend, 41-year-ol Tammy Lynn Harris, were lying in bed together when Massey decided to clean his handgun. The couple were living in a homemade shed behind a residence in Decatur, Alabama.

Massey was dismantling the gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon. The bullet struck Massey in the left hand and then struck Harris in the right leg. Both were transported to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The police have ruled the shooting an accident and no charges have been filed.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Man unintentionally shot through apartment ceiling

A 32-year-old West Bend, Wisconsin man was lying on his couch when he was struck by a bullet fired from the apartment below. According to police the bullet traveled through the ceiling of the apartment and into a second floor unit. The man suffered a laceration to his abdomen. "He was bleeding pretty bad," said a witness.

Police determined that a 20-year-old resident in a lower apartment had negligently discharged an AR-15 rifle while handling the weapon. The man reportedly told neighbors he was cleaning the weapon when it went off.

A neighbor told news reporters that he stayed with the victim until help arrived on the scene. He says the suspect was there as well, and kept apologizing for the incident.

The victim was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

The 20-year-old was arrested and charged with injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon. He was also charged with possession of a switchblade knife.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

9-year-old shot by neighbor target practicing

20-year-old Cristian Manzano, of Dallas, Texas was target practicing in his yard around 11:30 Saturday morning when one of the bullets went through his neighbor's kitchen window.  The bullet struck a 9-year-old girl in the head.

The girl was rushed to the hospital where she is in critical condition.

Manzano was arrested and charged with causing serious bodily injury to a child and discharging a firearm in city limits. Manzano had been ordered to turn over a handgun as part of an earlier plea agreement on marijuana and weapons charges. It is not clear if the same weapon was used in this shooting.

A neighbor had called police on two other occasions to report hearing gunshots coming from Manzano's backyard.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Woman unintentionally discharges gun at children's YMCA swim lesson

Kamila Brudi, of Austin, Texas, was watching her children's swim lessons at the YMCA.  According to reports, Brudi was looking through her purse for something when she unintentionally discharged the loaded, unlocked handgun she had in the bag. The gun was not in a holster, but just loose in her purse.

Brudi told police she usually keeps her .38 caliber Derringer handgun in her car for protection and that she forgot to take it out of her purse before going into the YMCA.

Police said because Brudi did not intend to discharge the weapon they only issued her a citation for Discharge of Firearm where Prohbitied - a city ordinance violation.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Concealed weapons permit holder showing off gun fires shot inside sports bar

36-year-old John Smith of Orlando, Florida was inside Miller's Orlando Airport Ale House when he drew his .45-caliber Kimber handgun to show its safety features to a friend.  Smith unintentionally discharged the gun.  The bullet hit the floor and shattered. 22-year-old Leanabel Torres-Rodriguez was sitting with Smith.  She was struck by a piece of the bullet, leaving a small wound above her right ankle.

After the shooting, Smith panicked, left the bar and drove home.  He later returned, without his handgun, and told police, "I'm the guy you're looking for."

Smith has a concealed weapons permit and told police he was not drinking while at the Ale House.

Smith was issued a trespass warning banning him from the Ale House.  Police are investigating the incident and no other charges have been filed.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

9-year-old boy shot and killed while playing with rifle

9-year-old Landry Oliver, of Guyton, Georgia was playing in his backyard with his 11-year-old neighbor.  The boys found a loaded, unlocked .22-caliber rifle in a shed at the home and began playing with it.  According to police, "At some point the rifle discharged, striking Oliver in the head."

Oliver was airlifted to a hospital in Savannah where he died of his injuries.

The sheriff is calling the shooting a "horrible tragedy."  "The initial investigation indicates that the shooting appears to have been accidental. We are not pointing fingers at anyone at this time at all, but with that being said, we would like to stress the importance of gun safety," he said.  "We ask and encourage everyone to keep weapons locked and away from children."

Monday, February 24, 2014

Man unintentionally shoots and kills himself trying to demonstrate gun safety

A 36-year-old Independence Township, Michigan man was trying to demonstrate gun safety to his girlfriend. The girlfriend told police that the man had been drinking all day and was explaining to her that his three handguns are safe when they aren't loaded.  To demonstrate this, he placed the guns against his head and pulled the trigger. 

When he pulled the trigger on the third handgun, it discharged.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police report that there were three children, ages 7, 10 and 12 in the house at the time but they did not witness the shooting.

The sheriff commented that he had "never heard of anyone testing out the safety of a gun by pointing at their head and pulling the trigger."

Police are not yet releasing the man's name and continue to investigate the incident.  The medical examiner has ruled the death a suicide.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Man unintentionally shoots and injures 5-month-old girl

21-year-old Arin Futrell of Durham, North Carolina was standing talking to his girlfriend on her front porch Wednesday morning.  Futrell unintentionally discharged a handgun that was in the pocket of his sweatshirt.  The bullet hit his girlfriend's 5-month-old daughter who was in a car seat on the porch.

The girl was hit in the hand and the leg.  She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Futrell was arrested and charged with felony negligent child abuse resulting in bodily injury.  He was also arrested on outstanding warrants charging him with attempted breaking and entering.

A neighbor called 911 after hearing the gunshot.  When asked what kind of gun it was, the caller responded "it was a loud gun, whatever kind of gun it was, it was super loud."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Off-duty cop unintentional shoots his gun at Shooters Waterfront Cafe

Miami-Dade Corrections Officer Marcus Thompson was off-duty, sitting at a table at Shooters Waterfront Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Thompson was getting ready to leave and reached into his right pants pocket for money and a valet ticket. During this process he unintentionally discharged his Glock 19 9mm handgun which was unholstered in the same pocket.

According to reports, the bullet "hit the metal base of the table and fragmented, causing minor shrapnel injuries to multiple persons surrounding the immediate area." At least nine people were injured by the shooting. A 79-year-old woman visiting from New Jersey was taken to the hospital for shrapnel in her buttocks.

After the shooting, Thompson gave the service manager $100 with his bill and left the restaurant with his wife. When the manager realized what had happened he went outside to find Thompson and told him to wait for the police.

The incident is still being investigated and no charges have been filed.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Man trying to cover-up unintentional shooting causes massive police search, business lockdowns

30-year-old Mario Walden was at the Baymont Inn & Suites motel in Brunswick, Georgia early Friday morning when he unintentionally shot himself in the leg with a handgun.  Walden told police he had been shot by a 5 foot 6 inch black male wearing a mask and a multicolored long sleeve shirt.

An estimated 20 uniformed officers plus detectives and a dozen special operations team officers responded to the shooting scene to search for a gunman who did not exist.

A nearby day-care center and other business were locked down while heavily armed officers conducted the search of the motel and surrounding area.

Police now believe Walden unintentionally shot himself and that a friend hid the gun for him so he wouldn't get in trouble for having it.

Walden was airlifted to a trauma center for treatment.  His condition has not been released.  Police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been filed.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

After being paralyzed by a stray bullet artist learns to draw with her mouth

In 1997, then 20-year-old Mariam Pare was driving with a friend near Richmond, Virginia. While stopped at a stop sign, Pare looked over to see a group of people gathered on a corner in the rain.  As she started to drive away, someone fired a gun.

"I heard the popping of the gun, and I saw the glass flying and it all happened really fast," said Pare.  "It was just noise and then I couldn't move.  I didn't know I'd been shot.  I just felt a kind of bolt of electricity behind me and a flash of heat."

The bullet had struck her spinal cord, leaving her a quadriplegic.

At the time of the shooting, Pare was a promising young artist.  She spent three months in the hospital before transferring to a rehabilitation institute in Chicago.  There, an occupational therapist suggested she try to write her name while holding the pen in her mouth.  Pare was surprised that she could write this way.

"I was like, oh, wow I could apply this to painting," Pare said.  "Maybe I could draw, or maybe it might be fun to paint while I'm in here and have all this time.  That's when I kind of got excited and decided to explore what I could do again."

Since then, Pare has worked on her art and now pursues a career as an artist.  This month, she will be a featured artist in two shows. And, any day now, she expects to take a job that will pay her a comfortable salary to paint.

Police never made an arrest in the shooting.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mother of 13-year-old killed in unintentional shooting wants state law changed

13-year-old Eddie Holmes, of Puyallup, Washington, was at a friend's home. There were five boys in the house when one of them pulled out his stepfather's loaded, unlocked shotgun from behind a bedroom headboard.  Another boy took the gun and pumped the shotgun and unintentionally fired the weapon.

Eddie was shot directly in the chest, killing him.

Police arrested the 13-year-old boy who fired the gun but Eddie's mother says the shotgun owner should have made sure the gun couldn't fall into a child's hand.

"Because our state has yet to agree on locking and securing guns, I'm left with the unbearable task of planning the funeral of my 13-year-old-son," she said.

Washington is one of the 22 states that have no laws regulating child access prevention to firearms. Child access prevention laws impose criminal liability on adults who give children unsupervised access to firearms.  Research has found that 1.7 million children live in homes with loaded, unlocked weapons.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

50-year-old man unintentionally shoots and kills himself

50-year-old Rowland Denison, of Spanish Fork, Utah was taking a .270-caliber rifle from his vehicle when he unintentionally discharged the gun.  Denison was shot in the stomach.

When police arrived they found Denison conscious and communicative.  He was taken to the local hospital. Doctors wanted to fly him to a larger medical center in Provo but weather conditions prevented the flight.

Denison was operated on at the local hospital and flown to the hosptial in Provo later in the day.  He later died of his injuries.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Boston teen unintentionally shoots and kills 9-year-old brother

9-year-old Janmarco Pena, of Boston, Massachusetts, was home sick on Friday.  His 14-year-old brother was home as well.  According to police, the older boy was "handling a firearm recklessly when it discharged, striking his younger brother."

Janmarco was shot in the chest. When police arrived on the scene they found he had died of his injuries.  Boston police commissioner stated, "Our hearts are broken for everyone involved here. I was here when they wheeled the boy out; it breaks your heart to see a young kid like that,  a curly-haired kid, be wheeled by with a gunshot wound to the chest.  It is just a terrible, terrible incident for the family involved."

Police have charged the 14-year-old with involuntary manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm. The evidence does not suggest that any other person in the home knew the boy possessed the gun. Police have not said where the boy got the gun.

In response to the shooting, Boston Mayor Mary Walsh announced plans for a gun buyback program.  "We've done gun buyback programs in the past that have been successful but we've got to try something a little different.  National gun reform is important.  Most of these guns are coming from out-of-state, states that don't have tough gun laws."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Man unintentionally shot in the head while ice fishing

54-year-old Scott Fraley, of Raymond, Maine, was ice fishing with friends on Cobbosseecontee Stream Sunday when he was shot in the head. The wound was not life-threatening and he was able to walk off the ice on his own. He was taken to the hospital for treatment and released.

The police reported they found 21-year-old Bryan Hickey walking in the woods behind the West Gardiner Rod and Gun Club, carrying a bolt-action rifle. Hickey told police he was "in the woods hunting and had just recently attempted to shoot a squirrel that was in a tree."

Police think the bullet ricocheted off the tree and then struck Fraley.

Police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been filed. It is illegal to hunt on Sunday in Maine.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ex-cop who unintentionally shot himself outside school faces felony charges

42-year-old Douglas Good, of Glenwood, Iowa, was in his car outside of Glenwood elementary school, waiting to pick up his daughter who attends the school when he unintentionally shot himself with a 9 mm handgun.  Good was shot in the leg and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police did not give details of how the shooting happened.  Good has been charged with carrying weapons on school ground, a Class D felony.

Good is a former Glenwood police officer and has taught training classes for people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

5 kids unintentionally shot while playing with shotgun

A group of kids were in the basement of a local home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, handling a loaded shotgun when one of the kids unintentionally discharged the weapon.

The bird shot struck five kids, ranging in age from 11 to 17.  All were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police say they are investigating the incident but are not getting a lot of cooperation from those who were present when the shooting occurred.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett visited a local high school to talk with students about gun violence.  He stressed that adults who own guns must take responsibility for them. "If you have a gun you have to have it locked up so children don't have access to it," he said.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Suspect in armed robbery unintentionally shot himself in the testicles

Portland, Oregon police report that Tuesday night a 40-year-old man attempted to rob a 32-year-old man who was his neighbor.  The incident took place in the parking lot of an apartment building.

During the dispute, the 40-year-old man pulled out a gun and shot the other man in the leg.  He then fled scene.  According to police, as he fled he unintentionally shot himself in the groin.

"The suspect's wound is consistent with somebody putting a gun in his pants," said a police spokesperson.

Both men were taken to the hospital for treatment.  Police haven't identified either man nor cited any charges.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

14-year-old unintentionally shoots himself with handgun dad gave him for Christmas

52-year-old Joseph Streff, of Chicago, Illinois, gave his 14-year-old son a handgun for Christmas. Less than two weeks later the teen unintentionally shot himself in the leg with the gun.  Police report that the injury was not life-threatening.

Streff has been charged with reckless conduct for providing his son with the gun. His bond was set at $1,00 and he is scheduled to appear in court on February 27th.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Young mom unintentionally shoots and kills herself

A 25-year-old Fountain, Colorado woman was found unconscious inside the bedroom of her home.  According to police, she unintentionally shot herself in the abdomen.

She was taken to the hospital where she died of her injuries.

The only other person in the house at the time of the shootings was the victim's young child.  Police are withholding the name of the victim until they notify the woman's family.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sheriff unintentionally shoots his own deputy during standoff with gunman

Davie County, North Carolina Sheriff Andy Stokes told a news conference that a standoff situation was "a mad scramble for a few moments" and "I am the person who shot my own deputy last night."

The incident began when Deputy Chris Fleming attempted to serve an arrest warrant on 19-year-old Scott Tilley in connection with a home invasion. Tilley fled the scene and deputies found him at a mobile home about 90 minutes later. Tilley told police he was holding the juvenile and a man that lives there hostage. He ended up releasing the hostages in exchange for some cigarettes.

During the exchange a police dog went inside the trailer, followed by Fleming, Stokes and three other deputies. Tilley opened fire with a shotgun, striking the dog. Deputy Fleming was hit in the face by pellets that ricocheted inside the home.

Stokes said he then unintentionally shot Fleming in the right shoulder as he was trying to provide cover for the deputies who were leaving the mobile home.

Fleming was taken to the hospital where he is listed in stable condition. The dog died from his wounds.

Tilley ultimately surrendered to the deputies and was taken to the Davie County jail. Police seized a 12-gauge shotgun, a .308 caliber rifle and two handguns from the trailer.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

17-year-old unintentionally shot and killed by stepmother

Cynthia Bowman, of Decatur, Alabama, was hugging her stepson, 17-year-old Kedrick Bowman.  According to reports, when Cynthia walked into their house Monday night, Kedrick came up and put his arms around her and laid his head down.  Cynthia was holding a .380-caliber handgun and when she brought her hand up the gun unintentionally discharged.  The bullet struck Kedrick in the head.

Kedrick was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  He was pronounced brain dead the next day but kept on life support so his organs could be donated.  "His death saved eight lives today," said his father.

His father said the gun was faulty.  He said they had called police about six months ago after the gun randomly discharged while on a dresser in their bedroom.  The store where they bought the gun said there was a faulty spring and replaced the magazine.

Cynthia said she had the gun with her Monday when she got home.  As she was walking toward the house, carrying the pistol, it unintentionally discharged. She told her husband they would have to bring the gun back. It was right after this that the gun discharged again, killing her stepson.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Texas Poet Laureate killed in unintentional shooting

68-year-old Steven Fromholz, of Eldorado, Texas was killed Sunday when a rifle he was handling fell and unintentionally discharged.

According to reports, Fromholz and his girlfriend were going to hunt feral hogs. A rifle was in case with the bottom unzipped. When Fromholz went to transfer the gun from one vehicle to another the gun fell out of the case and discharged when it hit the ground, shooting Fromholz. He was taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Fromholz is a Texas-based singer-songwriter who was influential in the Outlaw Country movement of the 70s. His biggest success came in 1976 when Willie Nelson recorded his song "I'd Have to Be Crazy." The track, on which Fromholz sings harmony, went to No. 2 on Billboard's country chart.

In 2007, Fromholz was named Texas Poet Laureate.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Father unintentionally shoots 8-year-old son

Fresno, California police report that an 8-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital Friday afternoon after being unintentionally shot by his father.  The boy and his father were home, along with others, while the father was doing some work on a shotgun which he thought was empty.

He unintentionally discharged the weapon, hitting the boy.  Police said luckily only a few pellets hit the boy.  He was taken to the local hospital for treatment.

Police say these types of accidents happen far too often.

Police confiscated 6 rifles and 4 handguns from the home while the incident is under investigation.

Friday, January 17, 2014

5-year-old shot dead by stray bullet while eating breakfast

5-year-old Payton Benson, of Omaha, Nebraska, was inside her home, eating breakfast, when she was struck by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting.  Payton was taken to the local hospital where she died of her injuries.

According to police, no one in Payton's house was the intended target.  The bullet was reportedly meant for someone standing on the street and was fired from a city block away.

Police have not made any arrests in the shooting but say they will "leave no stone unturned to solve this homicide."

According to a neighbor, "What I heard was just massive amounts of gunfire. Both guns had to be completely unloaded.  Uh, it both guns were very large guns. They weren't small guns."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Second unintentional shooting in three months at apartment complex

21-year-old Jordan Whitehead, of Elizabethton, Tennessee has been charged with reckless endangerment in connection with an unintentional firing of a gun last week.  Whitehead, who is home on leave from the army, unintentionally fired a bullet into the apartment below.  Fortunately, no one was injured.

This is the second unintentional shooting in three months at the Lynnwood Apartments in Elizabethton. In November, in the apartment next door to Whitehead, Ashli Baker said a bullet came through the ceiling of her daughter's bedroom, narrowly missing the toddler who was asleep in her bed.

Police arrested a juvenile in that incident and charged him with reckless endangerment.  He unintentionally discharged a rifle while playing with the gun.  The juvenile had stolen the rifle.

The manager of the apartment said that guns are not allowed in the apartment complex and that anyone who breaks a lease agreement will be evicted.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Father unintentionally shoots & kills 3-year-old son

Michael Carter, of Greene County, Arkansas unintentionally shot his 3-year-old son, Logan with a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun he had purchased about a month ago.  Logan was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the local hospital.

The shooting occurred at the family home just before noon on Saturday.  Logan's mother and brother were also home at the time of the incident.

Police are still investigate how the gun was discharged.  The case has been turned over to the prosecutor's office to determine if any charges will be filed.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Man shot in head by neighbor trying to clear his handgun

20-year-old Josh DeMerritt, of Rochester, New Hampshire, was sitting in his bedroom when a bullet came smashing through the wall and struck him in the head. Miraculously, Josh was unharmed.

The bullet was unintentionally fired by a neighbor, 25-year-old Corey Field.  Field lives across the street and was trying to clear his handgun.  According to police, because the bullet traveled through several walls and windows, it lost momentum by the time it struck Josh.

Josh said he feels "I was being watched over." He added that the bullet "went from the apartment across the street, through their wall, through two panes of glass, through a set of Christmas light, through a curtain, through a wall, and out the other side of the wall, where it hit me."

Police have charged Filed with two felonies - reckless conduct for allegedly firing the handgun and placing others in danger and falsifying physical evidence for allegedly hiding the firearm in a snowbank after the shooting.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

They both reached for the gun

51-year-old Scott Park, of Taylorsville, Utah, and his wife were sitting in a vehicle outside their home, arguing, a little after midnight January 1st.

According to police, at one point a gun was placed on the dashboard of the vehicle. The argument became physical and both the husband and wife tried to gain control of the firearm.

"It appears that while they were arguing over the gun, the husband pulled the trigger on the gun, which, ultimately, the bullet struck his wife in the face" said a police spokesperson.

The 48-year-old woman was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Her condition has been upgraded to stable.

Park has been charged with discharging a firearm during a domestic dispute. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kentucky state representative unintentionally fires gun in Capitol building

Kentucky State Representative Leslie Combs (D - Pikeville) was unloading a Ruger LCP .380 handgun in her office in the state Capitol building in Frankfort when she unintentionally discharged the gun.

The bullet struck the floor and ricocheted into a bookcase. Representative Jeff Greer (D - Brandenburg) was also in the room at the time. No one was hurt in the incident.

Combs told reporters that she was putting the gun away at the time of the incident. "I was purposely disarming it to put it up because I didn't like it and I didn't want to use it any more. I had had it in my purse I carry usually. I was particularly careful. Rep. Greet was on the other side of the room. No one was in harm's way. I made sure of that."

Combs has a concealed weapons permit for the gun. The state allows permit holders to carry loaded, hidden guns into the Capitol.

The State Police said no charges will be filed because there was no criminal intent.

"I thought it was totally clear," Combs added. "I am a gun owner. It happens."