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Six of 48 guns found by TSA agents at airports around the country last week.
Another mercifully light week in terms of the accidents, but still no letup in the rate at which people are accidentally shooting themselves, with another 17 listed this time, and details still emerging on a few more merely reported as accidents but no shooter identified. Additionally, just seven kids accidentally shot, ages 6, 8, 12, 15, and three 16 year olds. You kind of have to step back when you realize that just seven kids accidentally shot in a week is, relatively speaking, not as bad a thing as usual.

Among our usual assortment of accidents, we find three gun-cleaning mishaps, two gun owners who accidentally fired into their neighbors' homes, two gun owners who thought they heard someone breaking into their homes and accidentally discharged their guns (one into a neighbor's house, and one into his own hand), two cop-involved GunFAILs, two accidental shootings between siblings, two between spouses, and one mom shot by her own 2 year old. In fact, in that case, it's worth pointing out that the woman shot had taken her gun out thinking she'd seen someone outside her home, but later put it down and went to the bathroom, leaving it out for her son to find. So that's three people who took their guns out on false alarms and ended up with bullets where they hadn't intended.

Two people also shot themselves unloading their guns last week, two were shot in hunting accidents, and one left her gun in the bathroom at church. And as always, some substantial portion of the people stopped by TSA agents at airports last week (48 this time) insisted that they had forgotten they were armed at all, even as 39 of them were carrying loaded weapons, 16 with rounds chambered. But that happens week in and week out.

Time marches steadily on, and so does the GunFAIL. Below the fold, last week's stories.

  1. BROOKFIELD, WI, 3/19/14: A loaded gun was found inside a church in the Town of Brookfield last week. According to a police report, a church staff member found the gun in a bathroom at Elmbrook Church on March 19 and approached a security guard. Elmbrook Church told WISN 12 News a service for home-schooled elementary children was going on at the time, and the bathroom where the gun was found was accessible to those children. An Oconomowoc woman who had been at the church for Bible study called later looking for the weapon, saying she had put it down to use the restroom and forgot it. The church said the gun's safety was on, and no one was hurt.
  2. NEWLIN TOWNSHIP, PA, 3/20/14: A Chester County man was injured when police said he accidentally shot himself instead of a rat. Zachary Grant Troop, 27, of West Fallowfield Twp., was accidentally hit by a .22 caliber bullet in his upper leg around 10:30 p.m. March 20. Police said he was trying to shoot a rat when he hit himself instead, while he was at 940 Marlboro Spring Road in Newlin Twp., Chester Co. He was taken to Chester County Hospital for treatment. There's no word on his condition.
  3. CACHE CO., UT, 3/22/14: A hunting guide was injured Saturday morning in a “flurry of shots” after a group of pheasants flushed from cover near a hunting party. According to a press release from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, 60-year-old Craig Bingham of Paradise was acting as a guide for a group of nine hunters from the Huntsville area when the accident occurred. The group was hunting at Sportsman’s Paradise, which is privately owned pheasant hunting club on White’s Ranch. Bingham works as a guide for Sportsman’s Paradise. According to the press release, a group of pheasants flushed from cover and several of the hunters fired their weapons in different directions. Bingham, standing about 80 feet away on a small knoll, was hit. “During the flurry of shots, Craig was struck by at least 3 pellets,” the release stated. “He was hit in the left eye, hand, and thigh.” The man was taken to the clubhouse by private vehicle, and from there he was taken by ambulance to Logan Regional Hospital for treatment. None of the injuries are life-threatening, but the release stated the injury to his eye will require surgery. Officials stated interviews with the party led them to determine the incident was an accident, and no criminal charges will be pursued.
  4. IMPERIAL, MO, 3/22/14: The Jefferson County Sheriff Department is investigating the fatal shooting of a man Saturday night. Authorities were called to a reported accidental shooting in the 2000 block of Treybrook Court near Imperial at 9:55 p.m. Saturday. They found David Utz, 43, of that address, dead of a single gunshot wound. The death is under investigation and authorities released no other details of the shooting. UPDATE: David Utz, 43, and his wife had friends over Saturday evening and the group was looking at guns, said Capt. Ron Arnhart. The woman, 29, left the room and while she was gone, Utz picked up a gun and loaded it before setting it down again. His wife returned to the room and picked up the gun, not realizing it was loaded, and somehow fired a single shot into her husband's chest, Arnhart said. “It does appear to be a horrible accident,” Arnhart said.
  5. TROY, MO, 3/22/14: The Troy, Missouri Police Department is investigating an accident shooting that occurred on Saturday, march 22nd at 47 The Plaza. Troy Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department responded to the shooting. Police say a 33-year-old male was found shot in the abdomen at close range. He was transported to a St. Louis hospital for treatment to a non-life threatening injury. An investigation is underway.
  6. JOPLIN, MO, 3/22/14: A Joplin man accidentally shot himself in the hand Saturday while preparing for a trip to a shooting range, according to police. Younger Harrison, 42, sought treatment for a gunshot wound about 9 a.m. Saturday at Freeman Hospital West. Police were not notified of the shooting until later in the day, according to Lt. Charla Geller. Geller said Harrison told an officer that he had cleaned the gun and was loading it at his residence on West Perkins Street before going to a shooting range when the weapon discharged.
  7. LEE CO., IA, 3/22/14: Officials say a Burlington man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself in the foot while hunting. The state Department of Natural Resources says 31-year-old Dustin Guernsey was injured Saturday morning in Lee County. He was hunting for snow geese at the time. Officials say Guernsey was carrying equipment and his shotgun as he walked across a field. He stumbled and the weapon discharged into his left foot. Guernsey was taken to a local hospital. He was treated for an injury that was not life-threatening.
  8. RICHMOND, IN, 3/22/14: James Burns, Richmond: Victim of an accidental shooting investigated by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department at Reid Hospital, 1100 Reid Parkway, 7 p.m. Saturday. Burns, of 4074 Norris Road, received minor injuries.
  9. BOWLING GREEN, KY, 3/22/14: A Butler County man told Bowling Green police he was jumped Saturday by three men who robbed him in the 900 block of Par Makers Court. Nearby, one of the men accused of the robbery suffered what police are calling a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cody Colgate, 22, of Morgantown, told police he was walking along Par Makers Court after leaving Par Makers Golf Club about 2 a.m. when three men jumped him and two of the three robbed him at gunpoint. Colgate threw his wallet on the ground. The men took his cash – about $450 – and ordered Colgate to the ground. He covered his face with his hands and arms. The robbers kicked him while he was down, causing a broken arm, police records show. Colgate’s right forearm was broken, and he had multiple cuts on his right hand and both sides of his face that he said he suffered while being kicked on the ground. While police were investigating this call, another call came in about shots fired at Abel Court Apartments, Apt. 16, records show. Duquainn Collins, 21, 510 Lost Circle, Apt. B, was taken to The Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his thigh. He and his friend Jeffrey Buford Jr., 18, 1110 High St., said Collins was the victim of a shooting, police records show. However, officers determined the trajectory of the bullet appeared to be a self-inflicted wound. “His wound was the result of an accidental discharge,” city police spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward said. At the request of police, Colgate, who also was being treated at The Medical Center, agreed to walk past the treatment room where Collins and Buford were to see if he recognized the two men as two of the three people who he said robbed him earlier. Colgate positively identified both men, according to records. Other officers were sent to search Abel Court Apartments, Apt. 16. Officers found a .38 caliber revolver  – with two spent rounds in the cylinder – hidden inside a drop ceiling.
  10. OBERLIN, OH, 3/22/14: A man cleaning his gun Saturday accidentally shot a round and hit himself in the face, police said. About 2 p.m. Saturday, police responded to the guard shack of the Oberlin Federal Aviation Administration at 326 E. Lorain St. According to a police report, Donald Anderson was cleaning his Smith & Wesson handgun but didn’t clear the final round from the chamber. When he pulled the trigger and fired the gun, the bullet hit a metal cabinet, fragmented and struck him in the face. Anderson received a minor injury.
  11. LARKSPUR, CO, 3/23/14: A young adult male was killed Sunday morning in an apparent accidental shooting, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported. Police got a call about 9 a.m. that a male had been accidentally shot in the chest in the 10000 block of Perry Park Road, DCSO said. The victim was evacuated by air ambulance, but did not survive his injuries. The coroner was working to determine the manner of death. Police were not seeking any suspects, DCSO said.
  12. KINNEAR, WY, 3/23/14: The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports a 12-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the buttocks by his older brother Sunday evening at the home in Kinnear. The boy was taken to Riverton Memorial Hospital where his condition is unknown. Deputies determined the older brother was unloading a .45 caliber handgun when the negligent discharge occurred.
  13. JOLIET, IL, 3/23/14: A Hazel Crest man hanging around Evergreen Terrace landed in the Will County jail after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh, police said. Shantwon Neal, 23, of 3417 Hickory Lane first made a stop at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center. After his gunshot wound was treated he was transported to the county jail and booked on charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and defacing the identification marks on a firearm. Neal had visited an Evergreen resident, police said. Early Monday morning, he was walking around a fourth-floor apartment and "seemed agitated," according to police. Neal reportedly went out to the hallway and his hosts heard a gunshot. By the time the cops arrived, Neal was on the first floor, police said. A blood trail reportedly led back up to the fourth story.
  14. QUINCY, IL, 3/23/14: According to police, Zachary W. Ballinger, also 21, pointed an AR-15 rifle at Hermann and shot him at a residence owned by Ballinger's family in the 3300 block of South 24th Street. The shooting happened just after 5 a.m. Hermann was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound at 5:57 a.m.  "There's nothing that makes me think that Zach would do that to Austin," Homan said. "It had to be an accident."
  15. PITTSBURGH, PA, 3/24/14: A teen told police he accidentally shot his friend while they were “playing army” in his home in Knoxville. Kenneith Lampkin, 16, of the North Side died at 12:55 a.m. Monday in UPMC Mercy, where he was taken after the shooting that police say occurred at 5:29 p.m. Saturday in a home on Zara Street, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said. Joseph Robinson, 17, was arrested on Sunday on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and firearms violations. Robinson, charged as an adult, told police “he accidentally shot the victim while pointing a gun at him and having his finger on the trigger,” the criminal complaint states. He said he removed “both weapons from the scene” and hid them, the complaint states. Both weapons were recovered. Pittsburgh police and paramedics found Lampkin unresponsive with what appeared to be a gunshot in the head, authorities said. A preliminary hearing for Robinson is scheduled for Friday.
  16. STATEN ISLAND, NY, 3/24/14: An off-duty police officer was taken to the hospital after he accidentally shot himself in the hand Monday afternoon, according to an NYPD spokeswoman. The wound “presumably” occurred while he was cleaning the weapon inside his Graham Boulevard home at approximately 4:15 p.m., the spokeswoman said. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The officer was taken to Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.
  17. TAMPA, FL, 3/24/14: A fight inside a car ended with a 6-year-old being shot, police in Tampa said. Police say James Brookins was arguing with his child's mother. When another man heard the commotion, he tried to break up the fight. That's when officers say Brookins shot the man. The bullet went through him and also hit Brookins' daughter, who was sitting in the backseat. Police say she's expected to make a recover, and the man who tried to break up the fight will also be OK. She will be okay, and the man who tried to break up the fight will also be okay. Brookins is charged with attempted murder.
  18. MAUSTON, WI, 3/24/14: A Mauston man who accidentally fired a gun in his home also struck his neighbor’s house, according to a release from Mauston police. Officers were called to the 100 block of Highview Avenue at 3:19 p.m. on Monday for a report of possible shots fired. Police arrested Gustave A. Medina, 54, on suspicion of recklessly endangering safety and obstructing.
  19. ORLANDO, FL, 3/25/14: In a shooting reported on Woods Avenue, an adult male was shot in the arm just before 4 p.m. Two other adults were in the home and told officers it was an accident, according to police. The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
  20. ORLANDO, FL, 3/25/14: A 16-year-old accidentally shot himself in the buttocks, according to OPD. Police said the shooting occurred off of Indian Woods Road. The victim was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in stable condition.
  21. FREEMAN, SD, 3/25/14: Authorities say a 7-year-old boy was killed when he was accidentally shot by his 9-year-old brother at a home in the southeastern South Dakota city of Freeman. Hutchinson County State’s Attorney Glenn Roth says that the older boy told investigators he and his brother were playing with a handgun Tuesday when he pulled the trigger, thinking the gun was not loaded. Roth declined to immediately release the names of the boys, citing the need to first notify family members. No charges were immediately filed. Local and state authorities are continuing to investigate. UPDATE: Hutchinson County State's Attorney Glenn Roth on Wednesday afternoon released the names of those involved in the accidental shooting death of a Freeman boy Tuesday, March 25. Roth said Sean Hofer, age 8, died when he was accidentally shot with a revolver by his 9-year-old brother, Dakota Hofer, at their Freeman home. Sean was a second-grader at Freeman Elementary and Dakota is a fourth-grader there. Parents are Samuel and Christy Hofer.
  22. NASHVILLE, TN, 3/26/14: A man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself at his home in the Madison area. The man told police that he was woken up by a noise at his home on Wellington Court around 4 a.m. While trying to grab his gun, he dropped it and it discharged. He was struck in the hand by a bullet. The victim was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. His name and condition were not immediately released.
  23. HINESVILLE, GA, 3/26/14: A Hinesville woman was shot and wounded by her 2 year old son early Wednesday morning. An incident report filed by Hinesville Police Officer Scott Mercer says he and several officers responded to a call of an accidental shooting in the 100 block of Deann Drive. When Mercer arrived he found the woman sitting on the front doorway crying for help. Once the residence was cleared, Mercer began to perform first aid to the woman till emergency medical personnel. Meanwhile HPD Officer Ivan Saez found the woman's daughter and son in the residence. Two Handguns were found in the woman's bedroom on a night stand by Saez. The woman told the officers she thought she saw she had seen a person outside of the home and loaded one of the guns. She told the officers she laid the gun on the night stand and went to use the restroom. She told police she laid down in bed and was accidentally shot once in her left arm by her 2 year old son. The woman told police no other adults were in the home at the time of the shooting, her husband a Fort Stewart soldier is on maneuvers on the installation. The children were picked up by a friend of the family while she was transported to Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville where she was later taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.
  24. MACON, GA, 3/26/14: A 54-year-old woman was found dead of a gunshot wound Wednesday morning in her home on Winchester Circle. Dr. Ruthanne Council suffered the fatal but apparently accidental wound to the head about 10 a.m., said Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones. “Her elderly mother was in the house,” Jones said. “She heard a pop and went and found her.” The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene, and investigators’ initial report indicates the shooting was an accident, said sheriff’s Lt. Sean DeFoe, the office’s public information officer. DeFoe said the shooting might have happened when Council was unloading the gun.
  25. MOULTRIE, GA, 3/26/14: A 16-year-old who showed up at the hospital on Wednesday with a gunshot wound reportedly accidentally fired the shot that hit him in the arm. The Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office was called at about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday to Colquitt Regional Medical Center where Samir Perez was being treated for a gunshot wound to the right forearm, agency reports said. An officer with the office’s criminal investigations looked into the incident because of the age of the boy who was wounded. The shooting occurred at the teen’s home in the 1300 block of Holmes Drive, sheriff’s reports said. “All the evidence indicates it was an accident,” sheriff’s Inv. Shawn Bostick said Thursday. “The child had shot the firearm before with parental supervision.” On Thursday the teen had the .25-caliber pistol out by himself “and accidentally shot  himself in the arm,” Bostick said.
  26. GLASGOW, KY, 3/26/14: Glasgow Police have completed their investigation after an officer was injured by a gunshot. Police say Wednesday morning, Officer Darrell Smith was looking at a gun at Barren Outdoors when it discharged, injuring two of his fingers. He was taken to a local hospital, and then transferred to Louisville for surgery. Smith will be back on duty Friday. No one else was hurt.
  27. BELLINGHAM, MA, 3/26/14: A Milford man accidentally shot his friend through the thigh on Wednesday while he was cleaning his brand new 40-caliber pistol, police said. The shooting occurred at about 4:22 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Lake Street. The 21-year-old Milford man was cleaning his handgun, and unbeknownst to him, a round was in the chamber, said Bellingham Lt. Kevin Ranieri. "I can’t explain why there was a round in the chamber," Ranieri said. The gun discharged, with the bullet striking a 23-year-old Bellingham man in the upper thigh and exiting through his right buttocks, Ranieri said. "At this point it appears to be accidental," he said. As a precaution, police confiscated the Milford man’s handgun. He received his license to carry from the Milford Police Department.
  28. VICKSBURG, MS, 3/27/14: A 16-year-old was found by Vicksburg police lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head, authorities said. Police were called about 1 a.m. to the area of Harrison and First North streets, where they found the teenager lying on the ground. He was alert and talking, police said. The teen, whose name was not released, told officers that he found the gun and it accidentally discharged while he was playing with it. The boy was taken to River Region Medical Center and later flown to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he was to undergo surgery, police said. The weapon was recovered, authorities said.
  29. BLOOMINGTON, IN, 3/27/14: On Thursday, a 23-year-old man called police to report he shot himself in the finger while unloading his Glock pistol to clean it. Officers found the bullet lodged in a ceiling joist of the man's apartment, according to Bloomington police Lt. Steve Kellams. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment to an injury to his left index finger.
  30. MOLINE, IL, 3/27/14: A man was arrested after TSA officers found a loaded gun in his carry-on bag at Quad City International Airport. John VanEpps, 58, of Cumming, Georgia, had a ticket to fly from Moline to Atlanta when he went through the airport’s security checkpoint Thursday, March 27, 2014. A TSA officer spotted a loaded .380 caliber Walther PK handgun in VanEpps’ carry-on bag, as the bag went through the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint. The gun was loaded with six rounds and one chambered, according to TSA spokesman James McKinney. VanEpps had a Georgia concealed weapon permit, but weapons are not permitted to be brought on airplanes, McKinney said.  The gun and ammunition were seized and VanEpps was arrested by the Metropolitan Airport Authority Police. VanEpps apparently forgot the gun was in his baggage, according to TSA Federal Security Director John Hursey. Jail records show VanEpps was released from the Rock Island County Jail after posting $5,000 bond.
  31. TEMPE, AZ, 3/28/14: An argument between a husband and wife ended in an accidental shooting at a Tempe apartment complex Friday morning. It happened at the Sunset Villas Apartments in the neighborhood of Apache Boulevard and McClintock Drive near Arizona State University. According to Sgt. Mike Pooley of the Tempe Police Department, the couple's two kids called 911 at about 6 a.m. "Initially they told us that both of their parents had been shot," Pooley told 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell. "When we got out here we found the father walking down the street. He had two guns in his hands." Pooley said the man complied with officers, putting his guns down when ordered. Police took him into custody without incident. When they went into the couple's apartment, officers found a woman who had been shot in the leg. That woman was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be OK. Pooley said detectives are getting conflicting stories about the moment leading up to the shooting. Both the man and the woman said they were wrestling for the gun, but it's not clear who had it when it discharged. The man told officers his wife shot herself. She said her husband shot her.
  32. JASPER CO., IA, 3/28/14: The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says criminal charges are pending in connection with an accidental shooting. The shooting happened Friday afternoon. Deputies from the sheriff’s office and Newton police officers were called to the Skiff Hospital in Newton at 2:12 on a report of a man being treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg. In an interview, the man reported he had been shot by someone else in rural Jasper County. He provided a description of two suspects and a vehicle they had left the scene in. Those descriptions were broadcast to local law enforcement and they tried to locate the vehicle. During the investigation officers determined the victim had accidentally shot himself and there was no one else involved. The investigation into the incident is continuing and charges are pending against the man. His name is not being released at this time.
  33. ATLANTA, GA, 3/28/14: A 16-year-old boy told police he was playing with a gun when he accidentally shot a 15-year-old girl Friday night, Atlanta police said. The girl, whose name was not released, was shot in the stomach shortly before 8 p.m. in the 700 block of Windsor Street in southwest Atlanta, Officer Kim Jones with Atlanta police said. The girl was conscious and alert while being transported to the hospital, Jones said. The alleged shooter was arrested, Jones said. His name was not released.
  34. HUNTSVILLE, AL, 3/28/14: Police are investigating after a 21-year-old accidentally shoots himself in the knee. It happened Friday afternoon on the 4000 block of Patton Road. Officers were called to Crestwood Hospital after a report of a shooting victim. Police say the shooting was accidental.
  35. SAN BERNARDINO, CA, 3/28/14: A Friday evening shooting at a crowded apartment complex sent four people to the hospital, including the suspected gunman, police said. Around 7 p.m. gunshots erupted at an apartment complex in the 2900 block of North Mountain Avenue. Friday’s victims included a woman who was shot in her chest, a man with a graze wound to his face, another man with a serious wound to his head and neck, and the suspected shooter, who shot himself in the leg while trying to flee, according to police Lt. Rich Lawhead. “We’re speculating that that happened when he was trying to get away,” Lawhead said.
  36. MONROE, MI, 3/28/14: A woman who thought a burglar was trying to get into her home grabbed a handgun, which accidentally discharged sending a bullet through a neighbor’s bedroom. The victim, 51, told sheriff’s deputies that she was lying on her bed in her home on Ryan’s Ridge when she heard a gunshot and her window break. The bullet went through the window, through the wall and exited the trailer. The neighbor, 53, told deputies that she heard noises and became scared thinking that someone was trying to break into her home. The woman who fired the pistol told deputies she was embarrassed and offered to pay damages to her neighbor’s property. The victim reportedly did not want to press charges, reports said.

Originally posted to David Waldman on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:52 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Daily Kos.


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