Thursday, May 31, 2012

19-year-old playing with gun unintentionally shoots himself and his brother

Thomas and Brandon Everhart, ages 19 and 16, were at their grandmother's house in Lexington, North Carolina. The brothers were in the kitchen with their cousins when Thomas "playing with a handgun" unintentionally discharged the weapon. According to reports:
When he pulled the hammer back, it slid off his thumb, which caused it to hit the primer and send the shell off. The bullet hit him and then it ricocheted off the ground and hit his brother.
Thomas was hit in the leg and Brandon was struck in the calf area. Thomas, whose wound was more serious, was taken to the medical center in Winston-Salem. Brandon was treated at a local hospital and discharged.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mother tells 911 toddler shot himself with gun left "where he usually can't reach it."

3-year-old Lucas Heagren, of Mount Vernon, Ohio found an loaded, unlocked handgun in his home and unintentionally shot himself in the head. Lucas died of his injuries six hours later.
Kaitlin Campbell, Lucas' mother, called 911 and reported her son had shot himself with a 9mm handgun. She told the dispatcher the gun was being kept on top of the television "where he usually can't reach it."
However, the sheriff thinks another gun was involved in the tragedy. The investigation indicates that a .45-caliber handgun was involved in the shooting, not a 9mm. Investigators found the .45-caliber handgun on a couch and think Lucas may have found it on a dresser in the bedroom. Reports indicate that the 9mm was still on top of television. Reports do not indicate if any other guns were found in the home.
The prosecutor has not yet determined is any charges will be filed against the parents for failing to safely lock up the guns.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Man running errands with his parents and young children killed by stray bullet

43-year-old Justin Ferrari, of Madrona, Washington, was looking forward to a weekend away with his wife. Justin's parents had flown in to baby sit their grandchildren, ages 5 and 7, so Justin and his wife Maggie could be on their own. Thursday evening Justin was running some final errands in Seattle. He was driving his van through the Central Area. Justin's father was sitting next to him in the front seat. His mother and two children were in the back.
While the van was stopped at an intersection, two young men were outside, arguing on the street. One of the men pulled a gun and started shooting. A stray bullet hit Justin in the head. Justin died at the scene, in his father's arms.
This is the second Seattle resident to be killed in a random shooting in the past month. In April, Nicole Westbook, 21, was walking in Pioneer Square when she was killed by gunshots from a moving car.
No arrest has been made in either killing.
Saturday afternoon a man was walking near the Folklife Festival in Seattle when he was hit by a stray bullet. Ryan Burr was waiting at a crosswalk with two men started fighting nearby. One of them pulled out a gun and opened fire. A bullet passed through Ryan's calf. He was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police have arrested a suspect in the case.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Man who had never handled gun before, unintentionally shot and killed friend, pleads guilty to manslaughter

22-year-old Derrick Dahl, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, had never handled a gun before when he went to his friend's house last summer. Dahl, 22-year-old Ben Hanson, and another friend began fooling around with several guns inside the home. According to police, the home contained a Kimber .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, a Colt .357 magnum revolver, a Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and several long guns.
The three friends were "just playing around" and "pointing the empty handguns at each other." Dahl told police that he saw his friend take the magazine out of the Kimber handgun, remove a bullet from the chamber and place it in the magazine, and put both the gun and magazine on the counter. Dahl then left the room to look at the long guns. When he came back in the room he picked up the Kimber, cocked it, pointed it at Ben Hanson and pulled the trigger.
But the gun had been reloaded and Hanson was shot in the head. Hanson was taken to the hospital and died the next day of his injuries.
Dhal pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail, 10 years probation and a stayed prison sentence of four years.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

3-year-old finally home from hospital, 6 weeks after being injured in unintentional shooting

17-year-old Christopher Smith, of Fairhope, Alabama, was babysitting his two younger siblings, Teela, age 5, and Jayden, age 3. According to reports, he took two rifles out of a closet and began loading and unloading them and cleaning the scopes. At one point he turned the Remington 710 towards the children and watched them through the scope of the rifle, but quickly realized that was "a stupid thing to do."
Christopher says that when he put the weapon down across his lap it accidentally fired. The bullet struck Teela in the head and proceeded on and struck Jayden in the chest. Teela was killed and Jayden was taken to the hospital.
Christopher is facing manslaughter charges but his attorney maintains the Remington rifle has a long history of problems. (See 2010 CNBC report Remington Under Fire.)
Jayden came home this week after spending six weeks in the hospital. According to a family friend, "They are learning to cope and trying to get back into a normal lifestyle. Christopher's mother loves him, she understands this is a total tragic accident....that's her son."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

14-year-old wanted to teach toddler about gun safety, unintentionally shoots and kills him instead

A 14-year-old Urbana, Illinois boy wanted to teach his 3-year-old nephew, Mekhi Woods, a lesson on gun safety. The teen found Mekhi playing with a stolen .25-caliber handgun he had hidden in his room. So he took the magazine out of the gun thinking he had successfully unloaded the gun. Wanting to scare Mekhi and teach him about gun safety, the teen pointed the gun at the toddler and pulled the trigger, not realizing there was still a bullet in the chamber.
Mekhi was shot in the forehead and later died of his injuries.
"I lost two grandsons," said Vicki Moss, the boys' grandmother. "Now because of a stupid choice or mistake or whatever you call it, he is going to live with this for the rest of his life. I don't think he's ever going to be the same ever again."
The teen is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and unlawful possession of a weapon in connection with the fatal shooting.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

22-year-old looking at handgun unintentionally shoots and kills 27-year-old

22-year-old David McRea, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was with a group of people standing on a porch when a woman handed him a semi-automatic handgun to look at. According to reports, McRea was inspecting the gun when he hit the trigger and unintentionally fired the weapon.
The bullet hit 27-year-old James Crouch in the chest. Crouch was taken to the hospital and later died of his injuries.
McRea told police he had no argument with Crouch and in fact they didn't even know each other. McRea has been arrested on charges of second degree assault and manslaughter.
A neighbor said Crouch was a military veteran and owned several guns. "Jimmy was a nice, down-to-earth sociable guy," he said. "He certainly didn't deserve this to happen to him."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Man mowing lawn drops gun, gun discharges and shoots him

A Colorado Springs, Colorado man was moving his lawn Sunday with a loaded, unlocked handgun in his pocket. The gun fell out of his pocked, hit the sidewalk, and discharged, hitting him in the lower leg.
Police were called to the resident about 2:30 in the afternoon. The man was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Paralyzed in unintentional shooting, man faces eviction from hospital

28-year-old Adam Martin, of Sarasota, Florida, was in the wrong place three years ago when his brother's gun unintentionally went off, injuring his spine and leaving him a quadriplegic.
"I don't know what he was doing," Martin said. "Unloading his gun or something, putting it away, and it happened to go off. It paralyzed me."
Martin it only able to move his arms. He had been shifted from hospital to nursing home and back again for the past three years. Since last September he has been in a small room at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The hospital receives no money for his intensive, 24-hour care, even though he is covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, because he has no medical diagnosis that warrants hospitalization. According to a news report, "He is simply existing there, at the end of a corridor on the 10th floor, at taxpayer expense."
The hospital has been trying to find a new home for Martin and has located a nursing home in Georgia but Martin has refused to move because he wants to remain in Sarasota near family and friends. The hospital is taking steps to have Martin evicted.
Nursing homes in Florida are reluctant to offer Martin a bed because Medicaid pays about $150 less per day than their rates. Because he is so young, the nursing home would have to absorb that loss for years to come.
Martin's family and friends are trying to move him into a private residence. But federal funds that could have helped Martin are not available in Florida because state lawmakers rejected a federal grant that would move elderly and disabled patients from nursing homes to their own homes. The grant was part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (also known as Obama Care).
"The legislature didn't feel it was appropriate to take money from a bill that is unconstitutional," said one Republican state representative.
Martin said living in a health care facility he misses eating home cooking and playing music as loud as he wants.
"It would just be more peaceful," he said. "I could just do normal things."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Man unintentionally shot in butt when neighbor takes law into his own hands

Robert Rider, of SeaTac, Washington was concerned when he heard a voice in the house next door that was supposed to be empty. He found a man in his 20s who was trespassing. According to an interview with Rider, "Something had to be done, I wanted him gone. I tried to get him to go and he wouldn't go."
So Rider went back to his home and instead of calling the police he got his shotgun and returned to the house next door. He didn't know where the young man was so he decided to cock his gun.
"He got past me and I turned and I was following him out of the house and tripped over my own shoe and the shotgun went off," said Rider. "He had blood stains on his pants and I immediately felt bad."
The injured man was taken to the hospital where he is being treated for a birdshot wound to the buttocks. His injuries are not life-threatening.
"I feel real bad about it. I've never shot anyone before in my life. I wished I could take it back. I don't like the idea that I shot somebody," said Rider.
Police said that such actions by neighbors are discouraged. "It's always better to pick up the phone and call us," said the sheriff. "It could have been a much different scenario if the suspect was armed."
Rider was booked for investigation of assault but has yet to be charged with a crime. The injured man could be charged with trespassing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

SWAT member unintentionally shot by another officer during standoff

54-year-old Dave O'Quinn, of Moore, Oklahoma, barricaded himself inside his home Tuesday afternoon. He called his sister and threatened to shoot himself, which resulted in a standoff with police. According to police, "As the SWAT team was making entry we had an accidental discharge by one of the members, striking one of the officers in the leg, the lower part of the leg. Once that was taken care of they continued on and made entry into the house and found that the person inside suffered a gunshot wound to the head."
The officer, Sgt. Michael Leonard, was struck in the leg with a round from an AR-15 rifle. He was taken to the hospital for surgery and is expected to be okay.
O'Quinn is alive but in critical condition.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teenagers target shooting with a variety of guns wound a nearby nursing home worker

Two 18-year-old boys were shooting guns in a wooded area in Flatwoods, Kentucky. One of the bullets traveled 250 yards and struck an employee and a car at a local nursing home.
The employee was shot in the arm and has been treated and released from the hospital. He was in the parking lot when he was shot.

After tracing the path of the bullet police found a small arsenal of weapons believed to have been used in the shooting. Police seized pistols,rifles, military-style assault rifles and plenty of ammunition after finding trees chews up by gunfire and maybe 50 spent shell casings from five different caliber weapons.
The gunshots were heard by many in the nearby community and a local elementary school was placed on lockdown while the incident was investigated.
The local police have turned the investigation over to the prosecutor. "We'll see what happens," said the police chief. "Some serious charges may be filed in this."

Friday, May 11, 2012

7-year-old girl unintentionally shot, parents make her walk half a mile in attempt to cover up shooting

7-year-old Shariya Jackson, of Cincinnati, Ohio was shot in the back while playing with a gun with her 3-year-old brother. The children found the loaded, unlocked handgun on their parent's bed. It had been left there by Ricky Singleton, their step-father.
After the shooting Singleton and the girl's mother, Tangie Jackson, attempted to cover up the incident. They hid the gun in a closet and made their children, including the injured Shariya, walk half a mile away from their home before calling the police. They originally told police Shariya was injured in a drive-by shooting. But police didn't buy the story.
Shariya was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and Singleton and Jackson were arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, endangering children and obstructing official business. Singleton has a lengthy criminal record, including previous firearm charges.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Man worried about possible intruder unintentionally shoots himself and his girlfriend

A San Antonio, Texas man in his thirties thought there was an intruder in the house, so he got his gun. Unfortunately, he unintentionally discharged the weapon, shooting both himself and his girlfriend in the leg. The couple was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to one of his neighbors, the shooting was "not a complete shock." The neighbor described the man as "not well" and "paranoid" and described a recent incident where the man was in his backyard with his gun search for an intruder but there was no one there.
The police said that while they think the shooting was accidental, there was no evidence of an intruder.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Woman unintentionally shoots herself during handgun class

A 59-year-old Onalaska, Washington woman unintentionally shot herself in the leg during a firearm class at the Firearms Academy of Seattle. The woman was practicing drawing her gun from a concealed holster. When she went to put the 9 mm handgun back in the holster she unintentionally discharged the weapon.
The class offered was titled Defensive Handgun and included instruction on "the gun handling mechanic of draw stroke." It should be noted that "women who are pregnant or nursing may not participate in live-fire training, due to risks from lead exposure and loud noise."

Friday, May 4, 2012

No charges to be filed against police officer whose daughter shot herself with his service weapon

Last month, the 10-year-old daughter of a Spokane, Washington police officer unintentionally shot herself with her father's service weapon. Prosecutors have announced that they will not file charges against the officer.
According to reports: It was Easter Sunday and officer Barry O'Connell cleaned his gun and then left it, loaded and unlocked, on the dresser in his bedroom. After dinner, his 10-year-old daughter went upstairs with her friend. They went into the bedroom so they could look out the window to try and see where the Easter eggs were hidden. The girl began to play with the gun and unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting herself in the leg. The girl was hospitalized and released a few days later.
O'Connell told prosecutors that the children "had been taught about gun safety and the dangers of guns" and that the parents' bedroom was off limits. That's why prosecutors concluded, "By all study and legal review, this is an accidental shooting. It may rise to the level of negligence, but does not constitute chargeable criminal conduct under these facts."
By teaching children about the dangers of guns and then leaving a loaded, unlocked gun on top of a dresser you are putting the responsibility for gun safety on children instead of adults, where it belongs.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Man unintentionally shoots himself at shooting range

52-year-old Joel Dale, of Munice, Indiana, was with a friend at the Deer Creek Conservation Club shooting range when for some unknown reason his SKS miltary-style assault rifle discharged several times.
Dale was shot twice in the abdomen and had to be flown by medical helicopter to the Fort Wayne hospital. The bullets pierced his small intestine and part of his colon. He also had major damage to his skin tissue and it will take multiple surgeries to close the wounds. He is currently in stable condition and is expected to remain in the intensive care unit of the trauma center for at least two weeks.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mom gives teenage son handgun to play with, son unintentionally shoots sister

38-year-old Cynthia Ann Ward, of Collierville, Tennessee, gave her 17-year-old son a 9mm Luger handgun to "play with". She also wanted him to make sure the magazine was fully loaded for the next time she carried the gun, loaded and hidden, in public.
The boy took the magazine out of the gun and then began joking with his sister, pointing the gun at her. Not realizing there was still a bullet in the chamber, the boy pulled the trigger and shot his 14-year-old sister in the upper back.
The girl was taken to Regional Medical Center in Memphis where she remains in serious condition. The mother was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Man unintentionally shoots and kills brother with newly purchased handgun

41-year-old George Enriquez, of Antioch, California, brought his newly purchased handgun over to his brother's home to show off the gun. While the brothers were looking at the gun George unintentionally discharged the weapon and shot his younger brother Michael. Michael died at the scene.
According to police, George was pointing the handgun at his brother when he tried to remove the slide, which on this particular gun required you to pull the trigger. Bu the gun was loaded and when the trigger was pulled the gun fired.
Even though police agree that this was an unintentional shooting, they are moving forward with a criminal case.
"Mr. Enriquez had a lot of knowledge about firearms and knew better," said police. "It's a terrible tragedy, but it's a manslaughter from our standpoint."