Five of the 33 firearms discovered by TSA agents at airports around the country this week. Almost all carriers claim to "forget" they have them, because Responsible.(TM)
Just your basic, routine week of 40+ accidental shootings and other gun mishaps. Three Responsible Gun OwnersTM
exercised their right not to take the bullets out of guns they were cleaning. One gent "forgot" he was carrying a loaded firearm as he entered a county courthouse, but he was in good company, as 33 more just like him apparently "forgot" they were carrying as they tried to board commercial aircraft.
One would-be hero brought his gun with him to the movies on the one-year anniversary of the Aurora movie theater shooting, but accidentally fired it during the show, thereby demonstrating how quick and easy it is to go from "I'll save everyone in case there's a shooter in the theater" to "Oh my God, I'm the shooter in the theater. (But I love the Constitution so much that it really shouldn't count.)" Meanwhile, another would-be hero found himself in trouble in Milwaukee County, for firing at suspect the police were pursuing through his neighborhood. He wasn't trying to break into our hero's property or anything. The guy just thought he'd help out. With bullets.
This week's compilation also includes two "home invasion" shootings, plus the additional invasion of a neighbor's above-ground swimming pool, and a residential fence. And speaking of homes and invasions, there was yet another case of the mistaken identification of a family member as an intruder this week, resulting in a man shooting his daughter in the eye.
The child victims of GunFAIL this week are ages 3, 4, 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 15 and 17, and includes yet another case of a pre-school-aged boy shooting his sister, in case you thought that was terribly rare.
Below the fold, please find this week's list.
- EAST HAMPTON, NY, 6/07/13: [Officer] David Martin Jr., was sent to a house on Gilbert Road during a heavy rainstorm to investigate a small round hole that had let out the water in the swimming pool. Looking into it, Officer Martin noticed something at the bottom, which turned out to be a small caliber bullet. Joined by a second officer, Timothy Lamprecht, the two began trying to figure out where the bullet had come from. Considering that it may have come from a neighboring backyard, at 257 Fairview Avenue, they found that the house there was behind 12-foot, overgrown hedges. Knocking on the front door of the Fairview Avenue house, Officer Martin spoke with one of the residents, William Evans, 62. Meanwhile, Officer Lamprecht reported finding a bullet shell in between deck boards at the back of the property, which, the police report said, matched the bullet found in the pool. [Evans' attorney] said the bullet hole was an accident, that Mr. Evans had been shooting at rabbits who were attracting foxes that were frightening his dogs.
- PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ, 6/26/13: Sherry Ann Eccles, 38, of Cordes Lakes, was at the Dewey Medical Center with her husband. Eccles' husband went to an appointment while she remained in the vehicle. Her husband left his .45 calibur handgun in the vehicle. Witnesses told police that Eccles was holding a handgun in her vehicle, and that she was acting strangely while holding the gun. At least one witness reported that Eccles had the gun pointed in her mouth or at least at her head, Bonney said. During this event, Eccles discharged the weapon and the bullet traveled through the windshield and lodged in a nearby residential fence.
- VERO BEACH, FL, 7/04/13: There is a noticeable void at slip A-06 in the Vero Beach City Marina these days. The Shoestring, the 31-foot sail boat, remains there but Larry Hallett, the craft’s owner and a friend of many islanders, is gone. Hallett—an experienced boat carpenter and massage therapist—accidentally shot himself to death while cleaning his gun as revelers ushered in the Independence Day holiday. When Hallett’s body was discovered, his Taurus 9mm Millennium, a semiautomatic firearm he had been trying to dispose of, was nearby. Harry Wheaton, his friend and slipmate, said the firearm came with The Shoestring when Hallett bought it. “He asked me if I had a gun and I said, ‘No I never want to carry one again,’” said Wheaton, a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Wheaton said Hallett also had no use for the gun and even contacted the Vero Beach Police Department for advice on how to best to get rid of the weapon. Near the body were the gun’s magazine, a gun cleaning kit and instruction manual that read, “How to Clean Your Gun.”
- LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ, 7/06/13: Brandon Murray, 21, of Medford, was attending a party at a home on Lake Michigan Drive in the Mystic Island section of Little Egg Harbor Township when something angered him, and he went to his car and retrieved a gun, township police Chief Richard Buzby said. Murray returned to the party with the weapon and another unidentified guest attempted to stop him when the gun discharged, wounding Murray and 35-year-old Tim Colmyer, of Little Egg Harbor Township.
- MADISON, WI, 7/12/13: A 44-year-old Oregon man carrying a gun in his backpack was stopped recently by Dane County Sheriff's deputies on his way into the county courthouse, authorities said Monday. The man was going to traffic court on Friday when he allowed his backpack to go through a weapons screening. Deputies retrieved the gun and questioned the man, who said he knew it was wrong to bring the gun to the courthouse but had forgotten it was in the backpack. The man does have a valid concealed-carry permit, officials said.
- LEAVENWORTH, KS, 7/13/13: A Leavenworth man is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of another man while they were riding in a pickup truck. Twenty-six-year-old Justin M. Driscoll appeared in court Wednesday after being charged in the Saturday death of 30-year-old Dick Mathis. Police say Mathis was shot when a gun discharged and a bullet hit him in the chin. He was one of four men—including Driscoll—riding in the truck when the shooting happened. Driscoll and another man took Mathis to a hospital, where he died.
- RICHMOND HILL, GA, 7/15/13: An employee of Low Country Pawn reported that he had accidentally shot himself in the hand while attempting to operate a handgun. According to the victim, he was attempting to chamber a bullet in .25-caliber blue and pearl handgun and that when he let the slide go on the firearm, the weapon fired, sending a bullet through his left hand just below his pinky finger. The bullet exited his hand and traveled through two walls of sheetrock before coming to rest in an adjacent unoccupied suite.
- STOCKTON, CA, 7/19/13: It had to happen eventually. I wonder if the guy brought his gun because he was nervous about going to the movies on the anniversary of the Aurora shooting, then mistakenly became the theater shooter? Police say a handgun accidentally went off inside a movie theater in Stockton Friday night. Nearly two dozen people were watching a movie in a theater in the 200 block of N. El Dorado Street between 10:45 p.m. and midnight when everyone suddenly ran from the theater and someone yelled, “Someone shot a gun,” said a theater manager. The manager searched the theater and found a .25 caliber shell casing on the floor, but did find any victims or signs that anyone had been shot. He reported the shooting on Saturday morning. Stockton Police Department spokesperson Joe Silva says the shooting appears to have been accidental.
- WILLISTON, ND, 7/19/13: The woman who reported that she had been shot at the Williston Walmart last week instead accidentally shot herself, according to court records. Court records say Williston police responded early Friday to a report that a woman had been shot in the Walmart area. Officers located Simon in the bathroom of Lonnie’s, a café near Walmart, and Simon told an officer she had been shot by one male in a group of three males. However, the officer located a pistol in Simon’s purse and Simon then said the shooting could have been an accident but she didn’t remember how it happened, court records say. Court records accuse Simon of shooting herself in both legs while she was within one foot of at least one other individual.
- CLEBURNE, TX, 7/19/13: Cleburne firefighters responded to reports of a gunshot wound at 3:07 p.m. Friday on Cindy Lane. A 72-year-old Cleburne man was cleaning his handgun and thought he had it cleared out when the gun went off and shot him in the hand, according to reports.
- BATTLE CREEK, NE, 7/20/13: Authorities have confirmed that a Northeast Nebraska boy is dead, killed in an accidental shooting. Madison County county attorney Joe Smith said the six-year-old died around noon Saturday. The shooting happened at the boy's home in rural Battle Creek, Nebraska. Smith said he is not releasing the name of the victim or the circumstances surrounding his death, saying it's a sad tragedy for all involved. "This was an accidental shooting. No foul play is suspected. There will be no autopsy and the investigation is essentially closed," said Smith.
- CARTERSVILLE, GA, 7/20/13: An “accidental shooting” in the early morning hours Saturday left a woman in critical condition. Cartersville Police Department Capt. Mark Camp said late Saturday afternoon the 24-year-old woman, who was shot once in the face, remained in critical but stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital. At least three people were inside the room at Courtesy Inn, 2235 Highway 411, Cartersville, about 5:30 a.m. when a male suspect fired the shot, striking the victim near her mouth, police said. “From what they can gather, the victim and the suspect were just friends and they were just hanging out at her room,” Camp said. A witness told police the shooting was accidental.
- CLEVELAND, GA, 7/20/13: A 57-year-old Cleveland man was injured late Saturday night when he, according to the White County Sheriff’s Office, accidently shot himself in the hand. The incident occurred around 11 p.m. Saturday on Moosewood Drive south of Cleveland. [Capt. Tim] Chapman said the man was shot with a .38-caliber revolver.
- ALBANY, NY, 7/20/13: A 9-year-old boy is expected to be okay after accidentally shooting himself in the hand with a gun. It happened around 6:15 p.m. Saturday. Police say the boy found the gun in the backyard of a home on Orange Street. He was handling it when it accidentally fired.
- DICKINSON, ND, 7/20/13: Two men were arrested on Saturday night following an altercation near Lady J’s Catering at 20 Broadway St. East in Dickinson. Brandon Duncan, 24, of Dickinson, was arrested and charged with terrorizing and reckless endangerment, both Class C felonies, after he brandished a firearm during an altercation. A Dickinson Police Department report alleges that Duncan was involved in a fight and brandished the firearm, which then accidentally discharged. No one was injured during the incident.
- SALINAS, CA, 7/20/13: Once the vehicle came to a stop, two suspects jumped out of the car and tried to make a run for it. As they fled, one of the suspects turned and fired a single shot from a semi-auto handgun. The bullet did not strike any of the officers, but did strike his accomplice who’d ran directly into the line of fire. He was struck in the upper torso. The third suspect, who was unable to escape the vehicle thanks to the child-locks, was arrested without incident.
- SEDRO-WOOLLEY, WA, 7/21/13: Officers were called to a home on Township Street around 7 a.m. for report of a child shot. When officers arrived, they found a 4-year-old wounded from a self-inflicted gun shot, said Lt. William Tucker. However, a person inside the home had run off with the weapon, Tucker said. Officers and police dogs are now searching the neighborhood. UPDATE: He didn't make it. And the gun's owner, a convicted drug dealer, was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
- INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 7/21/13: A juvenile male has been arrested in what IMPD is calling an accidental shooting early Sunday morning. Police were called to the Marriott Hotel parking garage in the 600 block of West Washington Street just after 3:00 on a report of a person shot. When they arrived, officers found 17-year-old Darnell Franklin suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to his back. Franklin was taken to Wishard Memorial hospital where he later died from his injuries. Investigators say Franklin and five others drove in the same car to the hotel to meet some female friends. While they were still in the car, one of the passengers in the back seat reached down to pick up a gun from the floorboard of the car with his finger on the trigger and accidentally shot Franklin in the back.
- NEW FAIRFIELD, CT, 7/21/13: A young New Fairfield man is dead after the handgun he was showing to a friend accidentally discharged, state police said. The incident occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, at the Mobil gas station, according to Lt. J. Paul Vance, spokesman for the state police. Vance said the victim, who he declined to name but who numerous sources identified as Kevin Pannell, 21, was showing the handgun to a friend when it went off. Vance said the weapon has been examined by investigators and the discharge appears to have been an accident. The victim owned the weapon and it was legally registered, Vance said.
- CABOT, AR, 7/21/13: Lonoke County investigators said a 3-year-old child is dead after being shot at a home on Kerr Station Road. It happened around 3:45 Sunday afternoon. According to Lt. Jim Kulesa, the child was a friend of the family. The toddler reportedly picked up a 9mm automatic handgun, and then it went off. Deputies pronounced the boy dead at the scene. "You never dream it's going to happen to you, but it can," said Sheriff John Staley of the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office. Sunday evening, a 3-year-old in Lonoke County was visiting the house of a family friend when he got his hands on a gun. "The wife comes in, who is hearing impaired," explained Staley. "She was sitting there, she turns around, sees the child, he picked the weapon up and a tragic, very tragic situation occurred." The 3-year-old shot and killed himself.
- WAUWATOSA, WI, 7/21/13: A 45-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested after shooting at a fleeing burglary suspect, a Milwaukee police spokesman said Monday. The man opened fire when an 18-year-old burglary suspect, who was running from Wauwatosa police, came into his backyard in the 1600 block of N. 59th St. just after 5 p.m. Sunday, Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said. The man then continued to fire shots while chasing the suspect into another yard, Stanmeyer said. The 18-year-old burglary suspect, who was not injured, was arrested by Wauwatosa police. So in other words, this guy was firing at a suspect actively being pursued by police, and missed every time, meaning that his stray bullets were flying through the neighborhood, even as police were in close pursuit. Hero!
- VALLONIA, IN, 7/21/13: Police continue to investigate an incident in which a rural Jackson County man reportedly shot himself in the foot Sunday morning. Jeffrey W. Fleetwood, 23, of Vallonia told investigators he was preparing to take his .308 hunting rifle outside when he rested the muzzle of the gun on his foot to free his hands.
- KANSAS CITY, MO, 7/21/13: After his arrest Sunday, Smith told authorities that the pastor and church members had said he threatened to shoot them in the June 9 incident. Smith told authorities that he went to the church Sunday to "get the pastor to admit that he had lied on him," the probable cause statement said. Smith told authorities he walked into the church and fired one shot into the floor to get everybody's attention. That bullet bounced off the concrete, split into two pieces and lodged in a wall behind the pulpit. Smith said that when he was tackled, he pointed the gun under his arm and fired another shot at a person who was tackling him. That shot lodged in the ceiling, the probable cause statement said. The deputy asked Smith what he would have done if the preacher didn't admit he was lying, and Smith said he would have shot him in the forehead, according to the probable cause statement. But Smith added that he "knew he wouldn't have to shoot the preacher because people tell the truth when someone points a gun at them," the court document said.
- WICHITA, KS, 7/22/13: The shooting was reported around 11:10 Monday morning in a field off of Wheat Lane. That's near US 54 and 151st Street West. Police on scene said the man was in a company vehicle on break when he accidentally shot himself in the finger and thigh. Officers said the man has a firearms permit, and criminal charges are not expected. This account says he was shot in the groin and severed his finger. Hmm.
- BOURBON CO., KY, 7/22/13: Bourbon County Sheriff Mark Matthews says emergency crews and one of his detectives were called to the Stone Road property just after 8:30 Monday morning, after Kenneth Traylor's wife called 9-1-1, saying her husband had been shot. EMS crews found the 60-year-old with a gunshot wound to his chest behind his barn. He told them he'd seen some wild dogs near his horses, so he grabbed a pistol and started running towards the field when he slipped in mud and his gun went off. Officers say he was shot in the right side of the chest at close range.
- FARGO, ND, 7/22/13: Fargo police are wrapping up their investigation into a shooting that occurred Monday night and the probe has confirmed that the shooting, which left a 15-year-old boy wounded in the forearm, was accidental. Lt. Joel Vettel said the incident happened in a south Fargo residence and not where police were initially told the incident occurred. He said police are confident the shooting was not intentional. Vettel said a number of individuals, all of them minors, were present when the shooting took place, adding that the individual who accidentally fired the gun was not the boy struck by the bullet. The boy was treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound to his forearm Monday night, at which point police were notified and launched their investigation.
- LOGAN, OH, 7/22/13: A West Logan man who shot himself in the left leg while unloading a gun Monday has been charged with using weapons while intoxicated. Ezechial Chenault, 28, of Parkway Drive, Logan, was taken to Hocking Valley Community Hospital by Hocking County EMS early Monday morning after the round entered his upper left leg and exited his upper thigh. The round exited his body, traveled through a couch cushion, glanced across a leather boot, and hit the floor. It was found on the carpet of the home next to the boot, according to a report from the Hocking County Sheriff's Office. Chenault’s brother, Samuel, allegedly told HCSO deputies that his brother had been drinking and was shooting a 9 mm handgun. Samuel’s six-year-old son was sleeping in the living room at the time of the shooting, but was unharmed. “It was an accidental shooting. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did,” he said.
- WAGGAMAN, LA, 7/22/13: Jefferson Parish deputies say a 16-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a 20-year-old man while playing with a gun Monday. The shooting happened Monday morning around midnight. Deputies say the body of 20-year-old Lydell Hartford was found lying in his driveway with a gunshot wound to the neck. Hartford was pronounced dead in the hospital. Deputies say Hartford and two other teens were sitting in a car in front of the victim's home when the shooting occurred. When the 16-year-old boy began unloading the gun, the victim told him not to play with it. The 16-year-old, thinking he had unloaded the weapon, began pulling the trigger "three to four times." The gun went off, and the Hartford was shot in the neck. UPDATE: Oh, it's on now! He was a college linebacker!
- WHITEVILLE, NC, 7/22/13: Bad guy with a gun behaves badly, aims badly. Authorities say a Whiteville woman has died after she and her boyfriend tried to rob another man.
Police say 37-year-old Amy Sasser was killed in a park in Whiteville early Monday. Police say Sasser was in the park with 41-year-old Curtis Lawrence when her boyfriend, 41-year-old Darian Moore approached them with a gun. Authorities say the couple had earlier conspired to rob Lawrence. A scuffle developed when Moore confronted Lawrence. The gun fell and Moore picked it up and fired, hitting his girlfriend instead of Lawrence.
- SNYDERVILLE, UT, exact date unknown: An individual in the Snyderville Basin reported on Tuesday, July 23, that her neighbor had shot through her window with an accidental discharge of a large caliber rifle round several days earlier. She had been on vacation when the incident occurred and was informed by the neighbor about it.
- DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI, 7/23/13: Dearborn Heights Police are investigating a shooting at a house near Telegraph Road this morning. Details are sketchy, but an unresponsive man in his 20s or 30s with a gunshot wound was taken from a house in the 4100 block of Westpoint Street around 5 a.m. to Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn for treatment, authorities said. His condition was not available. The incident was reported as an accidental shooting, police said. UPDATE: Officials said the 31-year-old man was accidentally shot by his roommate while he was teaching her how to defend herself with a gun in case someone broke into the home.
- LA MESA, CA, 7/23/13: Ronald Neville, 46, was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and negligent discharge of a firearm, according to La Mesa police Sgt. Bret Richards. According to witnesses and the victim, Neville went to his neighbor’s apartment and pointed a .38-caliber revolver at the victim’s head, Richards said. He then allegedly threatened to shoot the victim if he did anything. Neville fled back to his apartment following the threat and while trying to de-cock his revolver, he accidentally fired a round into a speaker stand in his living room, Richards said. No one was hurt.
- GREENVILLE, NC, 7/24/13: A 6-year-old boy accidentally shoots himself with his parents' gun. It happened Wednesday night in Greenville. Police say the boy wandered into his parents' bedroom, picked up a .40 caliber handgun and accidentally shot himself in the hand. The child is expected to be okay, but now his father, 31-year-old Andre Morring, is charged with failing to properly store the gun. Morring told police he usually kept his gun locked, but that night it wasn't. The CDC says close to 2-million kids live in households with loaded or unlocked guns, resulting in 18 deaths or injuries every single day.
- FREDERICK, MD, 7/24/13: The first case was reported at about 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of Heather Ridge Drive, when someone fired a gun in an upstairs apartment, according to the Frederick Police Department. The bullet went through the floor and into an apartment below. The person who fired the gun left the apartment before officers arrived, police said in a news release.
- WYNN, AR, 7/24/13: It was around 9 pm Wednesday night when Wynne police were called out to the Cliff Ridge apartment complex in response to a shooting. "When officers arrived an individual had been shot in an apartment there," said Lt. Mike Smith with the Wynne Police Department. "Three other individuals were in the apartment when the shooting occurred." Smith said 19-year-old Brandon Murry was trying to put the safety on a handgun when it suddenly went off shooting 19-year-old Marcus Warren in the chest. "He was taken immediately to the Cross Ridge community hospital in Wynne and unfortunately was pronounced dead upon arrival there," Smith said. "Unfortunately the individuals had a firearm, were not familiar with that firearm, we don't believe it was intentionally done but reckless none the less."
- STOCKTON, CA, 7/25/13: A mother was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment after her 8-year-old daughter suffered major foot injuries in an apparent accidental shooting, police said. On Thursday, officers responded to a home on the 6000 block of Allegheny Place in Stockton on reports that a person had been shot, but the victim was not home. When officers arrived, the victim had already been taken to an area hospital. The mother, Aurora Almaraz, 32, who was later arrested, was questioned as officers learned that the young girl had been shot by what appeared to be a shotgun. Police believe that this was an accidental discharge and the shooting is still under investigation.
- PULASKI CO., VA, 7/25/13: A man was taken to an area hospital for treatment Thursday night after he accidentally shot himself in the leg. Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Brian Wade said police responded to the incident at a residence in the New River section of the county around 10 p.m. Wade said it was determined a man was holding a pistol in his right hand while working with a dog. When the dog pulled, it caused the gun to accidentally discharge, shooting the man in the leg.
- BROWNSVILLE, TX, 7/25/13: Authorities are investigating an incident where a man accidentally shot his daughter in the eye after mistaking her for an intruder. It all happened at the Conquistador Apartments off the 300 block of Billy Mitchell Boulevard on Thursday evening. Investigators told Action 4 News that the man thought his daughter’s boyfriend was breaking into his home. That’s when he pulled out his gun and pulled the trigger shooting her in her right eye. Investigators said the woman tried to come back in through the window of her dad’s apartment to pick up some of her belongings. Her dad allegedly told her all of her belongings were thrown in the trash. But the 27-year-old didn't listen and decided to crawl in through the window. "He just heard a noise opened the door and took a shot went and got his gun and opened the door and took a shot,” said Brownsville Police Officer Billy Killebrew.
- NORTH SYRACUSE, NY, 7/26/13: A North Syracuse man accidently shot himself while teaching his wife how to use a gun. Police in North Syracuse say the shooting was reported 306 Belmore Drive around 7:00 a.m. Friday morning. 69-year-old William T. Kopko Jr. called 911 to report that he had accidently shot himself in the leg while showing his wife how to use a handgun.
- JAMESTOWN, LA, 7/26/13: A Castor man lost his life today after putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. It wasn’t suicide. Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance said Seth Randall Rushing, 20, had pulled the trigger of a .22-caliber pistol four or five times but it misfired. “For whatever reason he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger one more time and it discharged. He immediately fell to the ground,” Ballance said. Rushing had been with a group of other young men who were riding four-wheelers during the early morning hours. They returned around 2:30 a.m. to a residence on Watts Road in the Jamestown community and began unloading items from their ATVs. Rushing took the gun from his four-wheeler and attempted to fire it. When it misfired, Rushing commented to the others, “This thing doesn’t work.” And that’s when he pointed it at his head.
- OAKDALE, MN, 7/26/13: A 9-year-old Oakdale girl was hospitalized after she was accidentally shot by a sibling Friday night. Oakdale police responded to a call of a shooting around 6:30 p.m., in the 1800 block of Helena Road North. Police found the girl in an upstairs living room with a gunshot wound to her chest. She was alert and talking with responding police officers. Police say the girl was accidentally shot by her 5-year-old brother.
- HENDERSON, KY, 7/26/13: Dispatch has confirmed an accidental shooting on Paddock CT in Henderson. We're told a man was cleaning his gun when it accidentally went off; hitting two people. One victim suffered a leg injury, and while the other suffered an ankle injury.