Among the events of special note, two Marines accidentally shot and killed themselves this week, which is more than a little unexpected, not to mention sad and avoidable. Trained in the use of firearms though they may be, in one case the training did not prevent one young Marine from twirling a loaded pistol on his finger, which discharged straight through his left eye, killing him five days later. Also among the unexpected accident victims: one armed security guard and one gun collector. Surely all folks who would have been presumed able to handle their guns safely. But it doesn't always work out as expected, does it? I'd really hate to find that out in, say, an elementary school classroom. Though some school districts seem bound and determined to take their chances, even as their insurance carriers insist that they not, at least not on their dime.
Perhaps somewhat less reliable, but still striving, would be the two gun owners who caused accidents while practicing with their weapons. More practice will be necessary, it seems. More common among the accidents, of course, are the people who had their guns out for no particular reason, either playing with them or showing them off. Five incidents this week involved people explicitly reported as having been doing just that. That's not counting the people reported as merely "handling" their weapons, as opposed to loading, unloading, or cleaning them. Which reminds me: I found zero gun cleaning accidents this week! A major milestone! Congratulations, everyone! (Though I guess it's possible that you just left your guns dirty.)
Two father/son fights resulted in GunFAIL this week. There were two stray bullet shootings, and one "home invasion," in which a fellow accidentally shot through a neighbor's apartment wall in the middle of the night. Three gun owners dropped and discharged their weapons this week, though this is often something that gun enthusiasts insist does not happen with modern semiautomatic weapons. But that's what they're telling the police when they arrive, so take that for what it's worth. And then there was the concealed carry ninja who, angered by being called out by neighborhood residents for speeding through their streets, jumped out of his car, went to draw the gun out of his waistband, and shot himself in the groin.
Finally, our last recurring category: the kids of GunFAIL. Victims this week were ages 22 months, 8, 9 and 13. All were shot by other children, mostly by siblings or other family members.
Below the fold, you'll find this week's compilation.
- RICHLANDS, NC, 7/26/13: Authorities in North Carolina are investigating the accidental shooting death of a Johnstown Marine. LCpl. LaNija Gilpatrick, who the Marines said was stationed at Camp Lejeune, died at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center July 31. 6 News spoke to a New Hanover County medical examiner who indicated Gilpatrick was twirling a gun when it went off July 26th. The incident happened at a home in Richlands, North Carolina, about 30 miles away from Camp Lejeune. The medical examiner said Gilpatrick was shot in his left eye. He died five days later.
- PARK CITY, UT, 7/31/13: Deputies responded to Park City Medical Center on July 31 in reference to an accidental shooting. A man stated that he accidentally shot himself in the stomach while practicing drawing his gun at a shooting range. The man was in stable condition.
- BLUEGROVE, TX, 8/02/13: The Clay County Sheriff's Office is in the early stages of an investigation into the death of a 9-year-old boy. Sheriff Kenny Lemons says he died from a gunshot wound. Officers responded to the call around 6:30 Friday evening in the 3200 block of Whitaker Road in Bluegrove in Clay County. Sheriff Lemons says it happened at the boy's grandparent's house. Update: Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons says the boy died from a gunshot wound after his 13-year-old stepbrother accidentally shot him with a 12 gauge shot gun. No charges have been filed against the shooter, but one adult has been arrested and charged with child endangerment for keeping the gun unsecured and not watching the children properly.
- ASHEVILLE, NC, 8/02/13: On Friday Asheville police received multiple calls regarding a person being shot, according to officers. When they arrived at a residence on Livingston Street, they found Derrick Bomar Jr., 18, with an apparent gunshot wound, police said. Police said the gunshot wound was accidental and he was improperly handling a loading handgun when he shot himself.
- FORT MOHAVE, AZ, 8/02/13: A Fort Mohave woman was arrested Friday night after a dispute over property ended with an apparently accidental discharge of a firearm. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence in the 1700 block of Valencia Road around 5 PM Friday for a report of a domestic disturbance that involved a weapon. She said that when deputies arrived, they were told by a man that his wife, eventually identified as Rilicia Idell Leverenz, had allegedly attempted to leave the residence with belongings, including several firearms and the couple struggled over possession of a weapon that discharged moments later.
- SAN JOSE, CA, 8/02/13: San Jose police are reporting that they have made an arrest in the shooting death of 19-year-old Kimberly Chico. Chico was riding in a car with a friend late Friday night some time after the bars were letting out in the downtown area when she was struck and killed by a stray bullet. 23-year-old Johnny Lozano was carrying a loaded firearm during the time of the incident and was detained by police on Wednesday, who were able to develop information leading to his arrest for PC 187, Homicide. Sgt. Jason Dwyer with the SJPD said, “She was a completely innocent victim.” Gang Suppression Units involved in the arrest do not believe that she was the intended target. “Chico just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Dwyer said. “Johnny Lozano is the suspect in the shooting death.”
- NEW MILFORD, NJ, 8/03/13: A 21-year-old former New Milford man has been charged in what Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said was the “recklessly” accidental shooting death of 22-year-old borough resident Alex Bridge. Bridge was with Byron V. Sankar, Sankar’s wife and another man outside the rear of the Brookchester Apartment Complex in New Milford, drinking beer “and perhaps smoking marijuana” around 1 o’clock this morning, when Sankar pulled out a .22-caliber handgun to show the others, Molinelli said. The 5-foot-7-inch, 124-pound Sankar “handled the weapon in such a reckless manner that it discharged, striking the victim in the abdomen and resulting in his death,” the prosecutor said, adding that he didn’t legally have the gun.
- RUSSIA, OH, 8/03/13: A woman standing in a bar parking lot was struck Saturday afternoon by a stray bullet from a man target shooting at a nearby farm. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reported that Kristy K. Godown, 40, of Greenville, was standing in the parking lot of Cruiser’s Bar & Grill, 115 North St., when she was struck in the elbow. The incident happened at about 2:30 PM. Godown was taken to Wayne Hospital in Greenville with non-life-threatening injuries. An investigation showed that Matt Cordonnier was target shooting with a Marlin .22-caliber riffle at a nearby farm. He did not have an adequate backstop, which allowed rounds to reach the bar.
- SAN ANTONIO, TX, 8/03/13: San Antonio police said a 22-year-old man mishandled a gun and accidentally shot himself Saturday night. It happened just after 6 PM Saturday in the 600 block of Byrnes Drive, just east of Terrell Hills. Police said the man shot himself in the head. The man was taken to SAMM-C in critical condition.
- MINOT, ND, 8/03/13: Minot police say a man was accidentally shot by a passenger in his vehicle. Police say 25-year-old Joe Prince of Nampa, Idaho, was charged with reckless endangerment and having a loaded vehicle in a motor vehicle. Police say the 24-year-old driver was taken to a Minot hospital after the Saturday afternoon shooting. Police have not released the man's name or his condition.
- COWLEY CO., KS, 8/03/13: Deputies were dispatched Saturday to the 100 block of Williams St. for a report of an accidental shooting along with Winfield EMS and first responders. Upon arrival, victim advised that when she shot the shotgun, it blew apart, causing the injury. Ammunition being used was reloads done privately by the owner of the weapon.
- WHITEHOUSE, TX, 8/03/13: Saturday was a rough day for James Jewett, who was interested only in selling his gun. Jewett, 42, went to the Action Pawn shop in the 700 block of North Highway 110 in Whitehouse at about 11:30 Saturday, Aug. 3, when he accidently shot his leg. According to the Whitehouse Police Department, Jewett was making sure the gun was unloaded and during the process, the gun discharged. A single shot went through his leg and into the passenger door. Police said there was no other damage and no other injuries reported.
- LAMOINE, ME, 8/03/13: A local man has died after he accidentally shot himself last weekend, according to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. The incident occurred Saturday, Aug. 3, at a home on Birchlawn Drive, the sheriff’s office indicated Thursday in a prepared release. Jesse Sinclair, 19, was inside the house when he suffered a single gunshot wound that appears to have been accidental, police said in the release.
- DANVILLE, VA, 8/04/13: Police say a toddler is in stable condition after being accidentally shot by a 6-year-old child at a residence in Danville. Danville police tell media outlets that the 22-month-old girl was shot in the back on Sunday. Police say the 6-year-old found the gun in the residence and accidentally fired it. The bullet went through a bedroom wall and hit the toddler, who was playing in another room. Police say a man who lives at the residence owns the gun. Four adults and two other children, ages 3 and 6, were in the residence when the shooting occurred.
- SPOKANE, WA, 8/05/13: Spokane Police say a 21-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the face while handling a semi-automatic handgun in his car with a friend early Monday morning. The man was taken to the ER at Holy Family Hospital with a gunshot wound above his left eyebrow. Amazingly, he survived, but police say he wasn't cooperating and wouldn't say who shot him or where. Major Crimes Detectives began investigating and determined the shooting happened inside his car which was parked outside a home in the 1300 block of E. Rowan. Police executed a search warrant and found blood inside the man's car and the home. They say there were five people either in the car or the home at the time, and all of them were interviewed. "The bullet did not enter [his head], it was recovered from the vehicle he was sitting in at the time,"Lt. Mark Griffiths said.
- HANOVER TOWNSHIP, PA, 8/05/13: An elderly man was accidentally shot in the leg Monday afternoon when he dropped a .22-caliber handgun and it discharged, according to Hanover Township police. The 73-year-old man, who was not immediately identified, reported he was walking with a relative near Orchard Street in the township's Askam section about 2:45 PM when he began to show the relative a .22-caliber handgun, police Chief Albert L. Walker said. Both people reported the weapon dropped, hit the ground and discharged a round, striking the man in the shin, he said.
- ANDERSON, IN, 8/05/13: A 13-year-old Middletown boy was shot dead Monday in what officials believe was an accident, Anderson Police Department officials said Wednesday. The shooting happened around 3:30 PM Monday in the 5700 block of Park Road in Anderson. Logan Armendariz died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. He was shot by what police described as an "underage family member."
- CONCORD, NH, 8/06/13: A Peterson Circle resident was treated at Concord Hospital on Aug. 6, after accidentally shooting himself in the leg, according to Concord Police. At 9:45 AM, officers were called to the home after the 73-year-old man shot himself in the leg. The man was unable to move from his second floor bedroom, according to police. Officers and Concord Fire and Rescue teams broke down the home’s door down to assist, according to a police statement. “Officers noticed that the male subject was bleeding from his left leg and discovered a .45 caliber handgun on the bedroom nightstand.” After investigating the matter, it was determined that the man was attempting to unload the handgun when he shot himself. This is the second time in a week that someone was accidentally shot with a handgun. On July 30, another man shot himself in the knee, reportedly while sleepwalking.
- TACOMA, WA, 8/06/13: Police say a single bullet injured three women Tuesday night in Tacoma. A woman called police just before 7 PM to say a gun had gone off inside her car, according to Loretta Cool with the Tacoma Police Department. The woman, who was inside the car with two female friends, was shot in the hand. Cool said the same bullet then grazed the back of the second woman and continued into the stomach of the third. Cool said it appears the shooting was accidental, but the shooter could still face charges.
- NORFOLK, VA, 8/06/13: Folks who live on Red Brooke Road off East Little Creek Road never thought they’d be dealing with blood stains on their street or neighbors who wield guns near their kids. But that’s exactly what they say happened Tuesday night when a driver accidentally shot himself. Neighbors tell NewsChannel 3 it happened because of an argument over speeding. “My friends were standing right there in the yard and the guy came flying by and they were like ‘slow down, there’s kids’ and the guy did a U-turn and pulled over,” said Ashley Summerson, who was standing outside down the street when the gun went off. After getting out of his car and waving around a gun, neighbors say the gun suddenly went off. “Pulled his gun out trying to shoot one of them but he shot himself,” Summerson says. “He was holding his groin and there was blood everywhere,” said neighbor Zach Watson.
- SIOUX CITY, IA, 8/06/13: Sioux City police said a man accidentally fired a gun during a fight with his adult son Tuesday night. Both were arrested on criminal charges. No injuries were reported. Police said Issac C. Rayford, 42, and Issac C. Rayford, 20, got into the fight at about 8 PM in the 2600 block of South Rustin Street, south of Glenn Avenue. The son pushed his father, who pointed a gun at him, and the weapon went off, police said. Police said the gunfire was not intentional.
- NAPLES, FL, 8/06/13: Collier deputies said Kevin Lee Kelly, 44, returned home around 12:30 AM Tuesday and woke his parents in the bedroom to talk about his day. When his father asked if it could wait until the morning, Kelly grew angry and began arguing with his father, deputies reported. Reports said Kelly pushed his father, who grabbed a gun from his nightstand. While the two struggled, the gun discharged, according to an arrest report. Kelly then left the home, which is on the 600 block of Limpkin Road. Deputies determined Kelly’s father accidentally discharged the gun while defending himself.
- WARREN, OH, 8/06/13: A city man was wounded Tuesday in what police reported was an accidental shooting. Police were called to Trumbull Memorial Hospital about 4:30 PM in reference to a gunshot wound, according to a Warren police report. Michael Holmes, 34, of Sidell Court N.E., told police he was the victim of an accidental discharge. Police did not identify who shot the gun or how seriously Holmes was wounded. No other information was provided.
- FELL TOWNSHIP, PA, 8/06/13: A woman died Saturday morning after officials say she was shot in the head. The shooting happened Tuesday night at a home along Jefferson Street in Fell Township. State police say Bruno Rocuba, 47 was holding a gun when it went off. The bullet then went through his hand and hit Melissa Rocuba, 44 in the head.
- LITTLE ROCK, AR, 8/07/13: An 8-year-old boy is in critical condition after being shot Wednesday afternoon in what was reported as an accidental shooting. "The little boy that was shot ran outside and he was like bloody man," said Oscar Moore. Oscar Moore says he was renovating a friend's home around five Wednesday afternoon when all of sudden the sound of gunshots startled him. Minutes before the injured nine-year-old ran out calling for help Moore says he was playing outside with two other boys ages 13 and 16. "I seen three kids outside talking and all of a sudden one said, 'Let's go inside the house,' they went inside the house and about five minutes later I heard two gunshots," said Moore. "I'm going to think about it a lot. I'm going to have visions of how he was laying on the floor bloody," said Moore.
- ST. JOSEPH, MO, 8/07/13: A St. Joseph teenager is in the hospital after being shot in the leg with a shot gun Wednesday night. "His injury is very serious," said Cmdr. Janice Rothganger with the St. Joseph Police Department. Rothganger said that 18-year-old Cordell Wallace's left leg was amputated from the knee down from injuries sustained. The shooting happened at the King Hill Lookout in St. Joseph around 10:30 PM. Police say they are still investigating the shooting but have taken an 18-year-old male into custody. All witnesses have told police the shooting was accidental. The investigation has revealed Wallace was likely shot by one of his friends unintentionally.
- PITTSFIELD, MA, 8/07/13: A 21-year-old city man died Thursday afternoon at Berkshire Medical Center after suffering a gunshot wound a day earlier. Investigators believe Chandler Lynch of Lincoln Street had been "playing with a handgun when it accidentally discharged," based on interviews with witnesses. Lynch was taken to BMC early Wednesday after police were dispatched to a report of a disturbance at Brown Street residence. They found several people trying to get Lynch to the hospital.
- FORT MILL, SC, 8/07/13: A security guard for a money transport company accidentally shot himself while working at a Fort Mill drug store Wednesday, according to police reports. The guard told deputies with the York County Sheriff’s Office that he was walking inside the store when his shoulder bumped a door and his holstered gun went off. The .40-caliber bullet hit him in his right leg, the report stated.
- CHICAGO, IL, 8/08/13: An 18-year-old woman found a .45-caliber hangun near her home and accidentally shot herself in the hand when she tried to handle it, police said. The teen, who police initially said might be about 16, but who is 18, was injured near 69th and Rockwell streets about 11 AM, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. Initially, police were told the woman was the victim of a shooting that took place outside of her home, that she was shot by someone in a white SUV as she took out the trash. Under further questioning, however, the woman admitted she found the .45-caliber gun and was handling it when it went off, police said.
- HOUSTON, TX, 8/08/13: A man is in custody after investigators said he accidentally shot his girlfriend in the chest in northwest Houston. It happened on Airline and Aldine Bender around 11 PM Thursday. Officials said the woman was rushed to Ben Taub General Hospital in serious, but stable condition. Police said she managed to tell them her boyfriend shot her, but that it was an accident. Investigators said he was showing her his gun when they dropped it and it went off.
- LEAVENWORTH, KS, 8/09/13: Deputies with the Leavenworth Sheriff's Office responded to the incident near K-16 Highway between McLouth and Tonganoxie just after 7 PM Friday. The man, 69, leaned a loaded .22 caliber single shot rifle against his vehicle when he went to open the trunk. According to the Leavenworth Police Department, the rifle, which did not have a trigger guard, fell to the ground and discharged the bullet. The bullet went through the man's leg, causing minor blood loss.
- GARFIELD, NJ, 8/09/13: A Charles Street resident was arrested early Friday morning after he allegedly fired a bullet from his mother’s handgun into a neighbor’s apartment, according to police. Dakim E. Nicholson, 20, turned himself in to Garfield police around 3 AM and was charged with possession of a weapon—a 9 mm handgun—for an unlawful purpose, said Capt. Darren Sucorowski. Nicholson allegedly fired the weapon, which is registered to his mother, while in his second-floor apartment at 122 Charles St. The bullet went through the wall into the apartment next door, Sucorowski said. His neighbor, Doug Moricca, discovered the hole in his wall and found a 9 mm slug on his couch when he returned home Thursday from walking his dog. He called police around 4:45 PM, prompting a Bergen County Police SWAT team, as well as officers from Garfield and several neighboring towns, to descend on the area. When officers arrived, Nicholson’s apartment was empty except for a dog. A 9 mm handgun was recovered from the apartment, police said.
- WASHINGTON, DC, 8/09/13: A U.S. Marine who D.C. police said accidentally shot himself in the head in the Marine Barracks in Capitol Hill on Friday evening has died, according to military authorities. The Marine was identified as Lance Cpl. Cody S. Schoenfelder, a 19-year-old rifleman from Huron, S.D. Details of the shooting were not made public, including precisely where the incident occurred in the sprawling 19th century barracks at Eighth and I streets in Southeast Washington, where the Marine commandant lives. D.C. police said they responded to the 1000 block of Seventh Stree SE, which is part of the gated Marine complex.
- EGELSTON TOWNSHIP, MI, 8/09/13: A 72-year-old Muskegon gun collector shot a portion of his index finger off late last week while showing a Smith & Wesson to a friend, police said. The incident was reported at 1:35 PM on Friday, Aug. 9 at a home in the 700 block of Chatterson Road in Egelston Township. According to the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office report, the victim, a gun collector, was showing his gun collection to a friend at the Egelston Township residence. While showing him a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, he accidentally discharged the weapon, firing a round through his left index finger, police said. Authorities said he forgot to check to see if the weapon was loaded before handling the gun.
6:19 PM PT: Looks like I spoke too soon in congratulating our friends on not shooting themselves while cleaning loaded guns.
ALEXANDRIA, VA, 8/06/13: A subject accidently shot himself in the finger while attempting to clean his gun in the 3800 block of Milan Drive.