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

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.