Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Man unintentionally discharges gun in Tennessee convenience store

45-year-old Keith Altman, of Fall Branch, Tennessee, was in the Roadrunner convenience store in Hampton, TN, when he went to use the bathroom. According to reports, Altman told police he took his loaded handgun out of the holster and put it on the counter next to the sink. When he went to put the gun back in the holster he unintentionally discharged the weapon. Altman told police he didn't have his finger on the trigger but thinks his shirt may have bunched up in the trigger guard and caused the weapon to shoot. Fortunately, no one was injured when the gun discharged, although there was damage to the bathroom floor.

Reports indicate that Altman was carrying a 9mm Springfield Armory XDM semi-automatic handgun. The gun has a number of built in safety features including a grip safety and a chamber load indicator. The chamber load indicator would have told Altman that there was a bullet in the chamber of the gun, ready to fire. The grip safety prevents the striker from releasing if the gun is dropped, but since Altman was holding the gun at the time of the discharge, and presumably holding down the grip safety, this safety feature was not a factor.
Reports do not indicate what Altman feared that he felt it was necessary to carry a loaded gun, with a round in the chamber, into the convenience store.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

21-year-old twirling his handgun unintentionally shoots friend in the back

21-year-old Curtis Law, of Maryville, Tennessee, had recently fired his 9mm handgun so he decided he should clean the gun. He was with his friend, 20-year-old Jud Caylor, when he brought out the gun and started twirling it. Law unintentionally discharged the weapon and the bullet hit Caylor who was standing in front of him.
The bullet entered Caylor in his back and exited out of this chest. He was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.
Police have tentatively ruled the shooting accidental. "There's nothing that would suggest to us anything different," said the local police chief. Law has not been charged.
Caylor is the son of a Blount County Commissioner.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Man pulls trigger to prove gun is empty, gun fires and kills woman standing on other side of wall

21-year-old Cornelius DeJong of Redmond, Washington was at a party at a friend's house. He brought his .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun with him to the gathering. DeJong has a concealed weapons permit for the gun. According to police documents, several people handled the gun over the course of the evening and it eventually ended up placed in a bedroom under a mattress.
Around 3 o'clock in the morning DeJong went to get the gun when another person in the room "objected to the handgun being handled while the subjects were under the influence of intoxicating liquor." DeJong then removed the magazine from the gun and pulled back on the slide. To show the gun was empty he pointed the gun at the wall and pulled the trigger.
Unfortunately, there was bullet in the chamber and the gun fired. The bullet went through the wall and struck 20-year-old Claire Thompson who was standing on the other side of the wall. Claire was struck in the neck. She was rushed to the hospital but died of her injuries later that morning.
DeJong pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree manslaughter. According to a police spokesperson, "We do believe that it was due to reckless handing of the gun that caused it to go off. We do not believe it was premeditated."
Documents indicate that DeJong had been drinking before the incident.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Woman in El Paso hit by stray bullet from gun fight in Mexico

48-year-old Maria Romero, of El Paso, Texas, was pushing her one-year-old grandson in a stroller in downtown El Paso when she was struck by a .223-caliber bullet. The bullet hit Maria in her left leg. She has two small holes side by side where the bullet went in and out of her leg just below the knee. She was treated and released from a local hospital. Her grandson was unharmed.
Police believe the bullet was a stray round from a shoot-out between carjackers and police in the Mexican border city of Juarez. Up to 50 shots were fired during the shooting. The bullet that hit Maria is the same caliber as the assault rifles used by Juarez police.
Maria had moved to El Paso from Juarez to avoid the violence that plagues the Mexican border town. "Maybe I was at the wrong place," she told reporters. "Coincidence, perhaps. Thank god, it happened to me and not the boy, the kids, and that it didn't damage a tendon or a vital organ.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

9-year-old said he needed gun for protection, unintentionally shoots classmate

8-year-old Amina Bowman, of Bremerton, Washington, was shot in the abdomen when a handgun her one of her classmates had brought to school unintentionally discharged. The 9-year-old, third grade boy, who was described as a troubled child who altered the dynamics of an otherwise peaceful classroom, hid the handgun in his backpack. He told classmates that he was going to run away and he needed the gun to protect himself.
The gun discharged from inside the backpack and struck Amina. Police found the .45-caliber Heckler and Koch semi-automatic handgun inside the backpack. The safety was off and the gun was cocked with a round in the chamber.
Amina was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery. She is in critical condition but is expected to survive.
The boy has been charged with third-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm on school facilities. Police think he likely got the gun while visiting his mother the previous weekend. Washington has no child access prevention laws. There are no laws that require trigger locks for guns or laws that penalize gun owners should a child get hold of a gun and shoot someone. At the moment, no charges are pending against the mother.
Ohh shoot.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

13-year-old girl unintentionally shot in the head able to give nurses a thumbs up sign

13-year-old Alyssa Howe, of Lee's Summit, Missouri was at a friend's house when the friend brought out a 9mm handgun. Thinking the gun was not loaded the girl unintentionally fired a single shot. The bullet struck Alyssa in the head. Alyssa was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery.
Alyssa remains in serious but stable condition. Her breathing tube has been removed, she is able to track people with both eyes, was able to squeeze her mother's hand and say "mom", and was able to give her nurses a thumps up sign. She has started physical therapy on her long road to recovery.
Police are investigating the shooting. Reports indicate that the gun was owned by a resident of the home where the incident occurred. At this time, no charges have been filed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gun unintentionally discharged in Walmart bathroom stall

24-year-old Andrew Seals, of Phoenix, Arizona, was inside the bathroom of a Walmart store in Mesa when his gun unintentionally discharged. According to reports, Seals entered a bathroom stall about 1 p.m. and began to sit down when his Ruger .357-caliber revolver fell out of its holster and fired a round when it hit the floor.
The bullet went through the stall door, hit a wall, ricocheted off a light and landed about 5 feet from a man who was standing at a urinal.
Seals has not been charged but police are asking prosecutors to charge him with one count of endangerment. The man who was nearly hit is assisting with the possible prosecution.
Arizona does not require people to get a permit before being able to carry loaded, hidden guns in public. Nor is there any requirement for firearm safety training before being able to carry a concealed weapon.
Ohh shoot.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Woman unintentionally shot during concealed weapons training class

33-year-old Crystal Smith, of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, wife of a Spartanburg County sheriff's deputy, was taking a concealed weapons permit class when she was unintentionally shot by the instructor.
Deputy Skip Smith, no relation to Crystal, was showing another student how to grip a gun when he discharged the weapon. Crystal was standing beside the student, the bullet went through her arm and into her side. She was taken to the local hospital and is listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
Deputy Smith is a certified Concealed Weapons Permit Course instructor. He neglected to check to see if there was a round in the chamber before handling the pistol.
Chuck Wright, sheriff of Spartanburg County, made news last October when he urged women to get a gun and a concealed weapons permit to protect themselves. In addition to urging women to carry concealed weapons he also stated, "Gun control is when you can get your barrel back on the target quick. That's gun control."
Wright says he stands by his comment about concealed weapons, despite this recent incident. A written statement from the sheriff's office stated, "This was a very unfortunate accident that has taken an emotional toll on everyone present. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Smith, her family, friends and all those present at today's class."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Former police chief unintentionally shoots himself in the hand

54-year-old Tony Barthuly of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, unintentionally shot himself in the hand while cleaning a handgun.
Barthuly is the former Fond du Lac police chief. He currently works for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Barthuly was taken to the hospital for treatment. He is listed in good condition. The incident is still under investigation but is being handled by the Sheboygan Police Department due to Barthuly's ties to the local police.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Woman working at kiosk in mall hit by stray bullet

34-year-old Manisa Sapkota was working at a sunglasses kiosk in the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville, Florida when she was hit by a stray bullet.
According to police
three young men were at the mall when they spied a man with whom they had "some apparent past conflict." 18-year-old Keith Brown pulled out a handgun and fired three times at the man, missing each time. One of the bullets his Manisa in the right shoulder. She was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury. Doctors were not able to remove the bullet from her shoulder.
According to one shopper who was in the mall at the time of the shooting, "Everybody just started running, I started running with them and everyone was panicking. You don't expect that when you go to the mall."
Police have arrested one of the men involved in the shooting and are looking for the other two, who have been identified.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gun inside woman's purse fires inside mall, bystander injured

A South Carolina woman with a valid concealed weapons permit was with her friend at the Inlet Square Mall. The woman had a loaded handgun in her purse and according to reports "the gun discharged when the woman placed her purse on the ground."
The bullet went out the purse and struck the friend in her right leg and then lodged in her left leg. The 59-year-old woman was taken to the local medical center where she was listed in stable condition.
Police said because the woman had a valid permit for the gun and she didn't intend to injure her friend no charges would be filed. However, the manager of the mall said the mall does not allow concealed weapons in the mall and that it is a crime that can be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or not more than five years in jail, or both.
There is no indication whether or not the woman will be charged with bringing a concealed weapon inside the mall.
There is also no report on what kind of gun the woman had or why it would fire after the simple act of placing her purse on the floor.
Ohh shoot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Toledo man unintentionally shoots himself in restaurant parking lot in the middle of the day

54-year-old Wellington Roemer, of Toledo, Ohio, was getting out of his vehicle in the parking lot of the Sylvania restaurant around one o'clock in the afternoon when he unintentionally discharged his handgun, shooting himself in the thigh and abdomen. He was taken to the hospital where he is listened in fair condition.

News reports do not give details of the incident or indicate whether or not Roemer has a concealed weapons permit. But his Facebook page does display an anti-Obama picture that says "I'll keep my money, freedom & guns, you keep the change."
Ohh shoot.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Security guard showing off handgun unintentionally shoots pastor's daughter in the head

48-year-old Moises Zambrana of St. Petersburg, Florida is a licensed security guard with a valid permit to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public. He also works on the sound board during services at the Grace Connection Church.
Sunday he was in a small closet showing his handgun to two young men, ages 19 and 20, who were interested in buying a gun. Zambrana was explaining the safety features of the Ruger 9mm handgun and removed the weapon's magazine. He was unaware there was still a round in the chamber. He pulled the trigger, unintentionally discharging the weapon, sending a bullet through the closet wall.
The bullet struck 20-year-old Hannah Kelley in the head. Hannah is the pastor's daughter. She was rushed to the hospital where she underwent surgery. She is listed in critical condition. "There's a big level of concern 'cause she may or may not survive," said a member of the congregation. "But we're all praying for her and, right now, I guess that's the best we can do."
Police are investigating the incident and no charges have been filed.

UPDATE: Hannah Kelley died six days after being shot in the head. In a statement to the press Hannah's family said, "The family has forgiven Mr. Zambrana and would ask that others treat him with love and grace. The family would encourage mothers and fathers everywhere to hug their children a little tighter as you never know when it will be your last opportunity."

Friday, February 10, 2012

19-year-old brings handgun to party, thought it was empty, shoots self in head

19-year-old James Crawford, of McKenney, Virginia brought a 9mm semi-automatic handgun to a party at a friend's house. Multiple witnesses told police that they saw Crawford playing with the gun. At around 2 o'clock in the morning Crawford, believing the gun was unloaded, unintentionally discharge the weapon. He was shot in the head and died of his injuries.
Police said that alcohol was being consumed at the party but did not yet know if Crawford had been drinking.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lifelong gun enthusiast unintentionally shoots himself and dies

65-year-old Jack Haning, of Lubbock, Texas, purchased a new handgun and brought it to show his co-workers. When he got back in his vehicle he unintentionally discharged the weapon, shooting himself in the leg, hitting the femoral artery.
Haning was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery. He died of his injuries.
According to his obituary, he was a lifelong gun enthusiast. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thinking someone breaking into his home, man gets his gun, shoots himself in the foot

A Natchez, Mississippi man was awakened by a loud sound. Thinking someone was trying to break into his home be grabbed his .357 Magnum handgun, cocked the gun, and went to investigate. According to police, as the man approached the kitchen he could still hear a noise and became nervous and unintentionally discharged the gun. He shot himself in the right foot near his pinkie toe.
The man was able to drive himself to the hospital. His condition has not been released.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sleeping woman shot when bullet comes through apartment wall

An Orange County, Florida woman was sleeping when a bullet came through the wall from the apartment next door and struck her in the leg.
"I'm freaking out because my wife got shot," said the victim's husband, Ivan. "We were sleeping and all of a sudden I hear this gunshot and I jumped out of the bed. Next thing you know, I see my wife bleeding."
The woman was taken to the hospital. Doctors were not able to remove the 9mm bullet from her leg but she was treated and released.
A man in the adjacent apartment told police he was putting his gun away when it went off. Police believe it was an accidental shooting and no charges will be filed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Two unintentional shootings at two guns shows in two different states

44-year-old Bill Adams, a vendor at the Knoxville Gun & Knife Show in Tennessee was showing someone his personal concealed weapon when he unintentionally discharged the .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun shooting himself in the hand. Adams had removed the gun's magazine but had left a round in the chamber. He was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries.
26-year-old Charles Lake was in the parking lot of a gun show at the Savannah, Georgia Civic Center when he shot himself in the leg while trying to load his pistol. Lake bought the handgun at the gun show the day before and had returned to buy another gun. He was taken to Memorial University Medical Center with a nonlife-threatening injury.
Both incidents are under investigation.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Man sentenced to 4 years in unintentional shooting death of his son

58-year-old Howard Bascomb of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota has been sentenced to four years in prison in connection with the unintentional shooting death of his son, 23-year-old Alexander Bascomb. The shooting occurred last November.
According to reports, Bascomb told police he and his son had been drinking when they decided at 3 o'clock in the morning to field strip Bascomb's 9mm Beretta handgun and put it back together. As they were trying to put the gun back together Bascomb unintentionally fired the weapon, hitting his son in the chest. Alexander's girlfriend was awakened by the shot and called the police. When the police arrived they found Alexander slumped over in a chair. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bascomb pleaded guilty to second-dgree manslaugher and was sentenced this week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Man sitting in his apartment shot when bullet comes from apartment above

34-year-old Tjuane Butts, of Des Moines, Iowa, was in his apartment playing a board game with friends when he was shot by a bullet that came from the apartment above.
"I'm rolling the dice and it's like pow! I went from playing a board game to laying on the floor." said Butts.
The bullet went in Tjuane's chest and out his stomach. He was taken to the local hospital where he was treated and released.
Police arrested 19-year-old Chad Ashley and charged him with reckless use of a firearm and illegally discharging a firearm within the city limits. Chad's mother told police that she had just bought two guns. She thought the 9mm pistol must have fallen and discharged. She also told police she hadn't bought any ammunition and didn't know how the gun came to be loaded.
Ohh shoot.