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.