Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gun Fail

Seven of 28 guns discovered by TSA agents at airports last week.
Seven of 28 guns discovered by TSA agents at airports last week.
A much quieter week this time around, in terms of the raw numbers. Three home invasion shootings, three accidental shootings between siblings, two hunting accidents, two gun cleaning accidents, and just four kids accidentally shot. A few of the more unique stats would include four wives and/or girlfriends accidentally shot by husbands and/or boyfriends (and one boyfriend accidentally shot by a girlfriend), the four "bad guys with a gun" who stopped (or at least accidentally shot) themselves, one guy who accidentally shot himself hunting for an intruder who wasn't there, and one state legislator who accidentally discharged her weapon in the capitol complex in Frankfort, Kentucky.
But that last one wasn't even our most dismaying story. Take your pick from among the upstate New York restaurant patron who accidentally shot himself and his guest (but kept muttering about how he had a permit), the Rochester, New Hampshire, man shot in the head (and yet unhurt!) by a neighbor's gun cleaning accident, or the young Janesville, Wisconsin, man who thought he heard someone breaking into his 13-year-old sister's room, so he just blasted through the door without opening it. There was someone in there, of course. But yes, it was his sister. And no one else.
In other news, there's an update to one of the purported New Year's Even celebratory gunfire incidents. The six-year-old shot in Newport News, Virginia, it turns out, was actually shot not by random gunfire, but by his 21-year-old brother.
So, that happened. And so did the rest of last week's GunFAIL incidents, listed below the fold.
  1. WOODLAND, WA, 12/15/13: Talk about a forgiving drug dealer. First, two teenagers tried to rob him at gunpoint after meeting him in Woodland to buy pot, police said Saturday. Then there was a struggle and the gun went off, putting a bullet through the arm of one of his teenage attackers. And then, despite the fact that the teens had threatened him with a stolen handgun, the pot dealer invited them into a friend’s home and helped the injured boy bandage his gunshot wound, police said. “The drug dealer felt so bad that (the boy) got shot that he helped bandage him up,” Woodland officer Jim Keller said Saturday. The marijuana dealer, whom authorities have not named publicly, is not expected to face charges related to the incident, which occurred Dec. 15, Keller said. The 17-year-old was treated and released a short time later at an area hospital.
  2. DOUGLAS, AZ, 1/01/14: No injuries were reported from a stray bullet that struck a home on 10th Street New Year’s Eve. According to Sgt. Jose Duarte of the Douglas Police Department officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of 10th around 2:20 p.m. New Year’s Day. During the investigation the home owner reported damage to his ceiling and the DPD officer determined that the cause of the damage was a stray bullet which had struck the roof and ended up inside the residence. Sgt. Duarte said it is believed the bullet had come from someone possibly firing shot or shots into the air and the bullet landed at this residence during the New Year’s Eve celebration the night before.
  3. TANANA, AK, 1/01/14: A New Year's Eve tradition gone awry has left residents in the Interior community of Tanana without Internet service for more than a week after the town's fiber-optic cable was accidentally shot out by revelers. It's a New Year's tradition to shoot off guns at midnight in the village at the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon rivers, about 150 miles west of Fairbanks. This year, however, the shooters evidently weren't paying attention where they were pointing their guns when someone shot one of the main fiber-optic cable lines. "You can't fix stupid," is how Ralph Eller, owner of Yukon Telephone and Supervisions Cable TV, summed up the incident. The community was still without Internet service on Thursday while Eller waited for parts to arrive to repair the damaged line. Another 20 or so residents in the village have been without TV as a result of the damaged cable.
  4. ORANGEBURG, SC, 1/04/14: A Lexington man is undergoing medical treatment after a shotgun blast “grazed the bottom of his forearm,” Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jeff Mitchum said. Mitchum said ODPS received a call around 9:12 a.m. Saturday about the discharge of a firearm at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds, where the 49th Annual Grand American Hunt and Show coonhound event was underway. The victim, who is about 30, “had a shotgun in his truck and was moving stuff around in his truck and a .20-gauge shotgun discharged” and grazed the victim’s forearm, Mitchum said. The accident occurred in the parking area. Around 10 a.m., Grand American announcer David McKee advised visitors at the event to “secure their firearms” if they were being kept in their vehicles.
  5. MENDON, NY, 1/04/14: A man in a Mendon restaurant accidentally shot himself and the person he was eating with on Saturday. The Monroe County Sheriff's department said a man was eating at the Cottage Hotel of Mendon at the corner of Routes 64 and 251 when his gun went off accidentally. He ended up shooting himself in the hand and ankle and also striking one of the people he was eating with in the ankle as well. So far, no charges are being filed. UPDATE: The Monroe County Sheriff's Office tells local media outlets that John Cassata was showing his gun to a friend when the weapon went off. MORE: Witnesses said the shot went off with a baby nearby and shattered an otherwise peaceful lunch. "All of a sudden we heard this explosion," said Ellen Smith, of Mendon. "I literally thought somebody had a firecracker. I didn't think it was a gun, but then I heard someone say, 'Oh my god, what did you do?' And I turned around and saw all this smoke and it was just silence. Everyone was stunned. This guy shot himself." Smith called 911. "This guy was so gray. He was bleeding pretty heavily," Smith said. "He kept saying, I've got a permit, I've got a permit."
  6. RICHARDSON, TX, 1/04/14: Police say a man who robbed a Richardson hair salon Saturday night accidentally shot himself while fleeing. The suspected robber arrived at a local hospital with a gunshot wound, soon after Venus Hair Salon reported the robbery, said Sgt. Kevin Perlich, Richardson police spokesman. Salon employees and clients told police they heard a shot fire as two robbers fled the salon. Police are investigating the injured man, but Perlich said “there’s a strong possibility that he was involved.” After the robbery, police say an injured suspect went to Medical City Dallas Hospital with a bullet wound to the leg. The man had surgery, but does not have a life-threatening injury.
  7. PASCO, WA, 1/04/14: A man who was taken to the hospital Saturday night with a gunshot wound to his leg may have accidentally shot himself, according to Pasco police. Police responded to a report of a gunshot victim at a motel on the 2800 block of N. 20th Ave. in Pasco around 9:40 p.m., Capt. Jim Raymond said. Officers found the man, who is in his 20s, with a gunshot wound to his leg. The man was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Raymond said. Police did not release the man’s name and his condition was not immediately available. A handgun was found at the scene, Raymond said. UPDATE: Brandon Mellon is under supervision in a Portland hospital, where he is being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg prior to being taken into custody in Pasco, said Monique Cotton, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. Mellon is in critical condition. Mellon is suspected of shooting and killing and man at an apartment in the 2200 block of North Astor Street. Detectives interviewed witnesses and determined Mellon was a person of interest in the homicide. They learned he was at a motel in Pasco and had accidentally shot himself in the leg.
  8. SUMTER CO., AL, 1/04/14: A man from the Birmingham area was fatally shot in a hunting accident early Saturday, a Mississippi news station has reported. Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark told WTOK that one man was shot on County Road 74 near Livingston. The victim's name is not being released pending notification of family, but officials said the man was from the Birmingham area. Sumter County authorities are investigating the shooting.UPDATE:  James Hunter Collier, 26, was found shot to death Saturday morning at a hunting camp off County Road 74 near Livingston. Preliminary reports indicate Collier's death was accidental and from a stray bullet, Clark said. Collier was a graduate of Briarwood High School and Auburn University. Collier's brother-in-law found him dead between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday. He was sitting in a chair in a shooting house and had been shot in the hip area. The sheriff confirmed there was a bullet hole in the shooting house, and in the chair. The sheriff said they have interviewed several hunters who were in the area at the time of the shooting. They also have inspected the weapons of those hunters, he said. They were awaiting to the retrieval of the bullet from Collier's body to determine its caliber.
  9. ROGERSVILLE, TN, 1/04/14: A Hawkins County woman who told police she shot herself in the stomach while cleaning her gun Saturday afternoon was listed in good condition Monday at the Holston Valley Medical Center. Around 3:24 p.m. Saturday police and EMS were dispatched to an accidental shooting report at the home of Vernie Regina Lucas, 41, 6424 Rt. 66, located north of Rogersville. Upon her arrival responding Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Reba Matthews reportedly found Lucas laying on the bathroom floor with what appeared to be an abdominal gunshot wound. Lucas stated that she was cleaning a .22 caliber H&R revolver when her thumb slipped off the hammer, and the gun discharged, shooting her in the stomach. “Mrs. Lucas stated she thought it was a five shot instead of a six shot, and had one in the chamber,” Matthews stated in her report. HCSO Detective Marc Bass told the Times-News Monday there is no reason to believe Lucas’s gunshot wound was anything but self-inflicted. Lucas was transported to the HVMC where she underwent surgery. “She had to have part of her intestine removed, and the bullet hit her spleen,” Bass said. “The bullet bounced around and hit two or three different places.” Bass added, “It was an older revolver. Her story was that she was fixing to clean it, and she squirted some cleaner on the hammer. The barrel was right up against her stomach. When she was holding the hammer her finger slipped off because of all the stuff on it, and it went off.”
  10. PHILADELPHIA, PA, 1/04/13: A Frankford man’s “mistake” has left his live-in girlfriend cliniging to life, police said today. When officers responding to reports of  gunfire arrived at the scene, on Unity Street near Leiper, Saturday about 3:38 a.m., they found a 26-year-old woman lying in bed with a gunshot wound to her forehead. Roger Morrison, 36, who was home when police arrived, told the officers that he was the woman’s boyfriend and that he accidentally shot her. She was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center in critical condition, where she remained today. Morrison was arrested, and has been charged with attempted murder and related offenses.
  11. NORTH BERGEN, NJ, 1/04/14: A North Bergen man who told police that he was shot Saturday has been charged with falsifying a police report and two weapons offenses after he recanted his story, North Bergen police said. Christopher Velez, 33, has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, police said. He was released on his own recognizance. Police from West New York and North Bergen responded to a call that a man was shot in his left finger and thigh, and in the area of 52nd Street and Kennedy Boulevard, reports said. West New York police recovered a firearm from an apartment building hallway window sill and Velez told them he was shot, reports said. But during the course of being interviewed, Velez recanted his story, telling police he found the Browning Arms small caliber handgun in the snow at 51st Street and Kennedy Boulevard. He also told police he went to a friend's house in North Bergen and was handling the gun when he accidentally shot himself, police said. North Bergen police said the handgun has not been reported stolen.
  12. PINE HILLS, FL, 1/04/14: When 15-year-old Onardo Bent was critically injured last Saturday morning when he was shot, police originally said the shooting happened while he was riding his bike to his uncle’s house in Pine Hills. But investigators said that story was made up. They said the uncle, Dickale Cothell, was the one who shot his nephew, and then tried to cover it all up. “He came out, was handling the firearm, the teen was there in the living room area when the round went off, he was struck, and went down immediately,” said Capt. Angelo Nieves with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Bent was unconscious at the hospital for days, unable to tell anyone what really happened.  But investigators said Thursday night he came to, and told deputies that it was his uncle who accidentally shot him. Cothell said nothing as he was taken into custody Friday night.  But investigators said the 28-year-old admits to police he shot his nephew, but that it was an accident as he was handling his gun. He said he tried to cover the whole thing up, and convince his girlfriend and other people at the home to help him cover it up, because he was on probation and afraid of what could happen.
  13. SIOUX FALLS, SD, 1/04/14: Police say a Sioux Falls woman’s story of how she was shot in the leg Saturday night is murky. Officer Sam Clemens says the 21-year-old victim told investigators she was accidentally shot by a man who got into her car brandishing a handgun. She says she was trying to put her car into gear and drive away. She claims the suspect reached over to stop her and when he did the gun fired. Clemens says the man fled the scene and the woman went to the hospital. Clemens says the she’s being uncooperative. He says another story from the woman’s boyfriend doesn’t match hers.
  14. CARLISLE, PA, 1/05/14: North Middleton Township police are investigating an accidental shooting in which a man shot his girlfriend in the arm. Township police are still determining whether charges will be filed against Robert Hostler, who shot Serina Howe in her right arm on Sunday night. Police responded to the Carlisle Regional Medical Center for a report of a gunshot victim. That’s where they found Howe, whose wound was not life threatening, police said. She was later transferred to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for additional treatment. The shooting occurred Sunday around 11:30 p.m. at a home in the 2100 block of Waggoners Gap Road. Police said both Hostler and Howe are in their 20s.
  15. EVERGREEN, MT, 1/05/14: The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office investigated after getting a report Sunday at 8 a.m. about a man being dropped at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center emergency room with a gunshot wound to his leg. “This was from all appearances an accidental gunshot wound that occurred when a person was playing with a revolver,” Undersheriff Dave Lieb said of the incident, which occurred somewhere in Evergreen.
  16. FORT WALTON BEACH, FL, 1/05/14: Officials say that no charges will likely be filed in a Sunday shooting accident that left one man with injuries to the head. Emergency responders were called at about 3 p.m. after 21-year-old Sean Michael Tolar’s head was grazed by bird shot, according to Stan Kirkland, spokesman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Mary Esther man was with four other friends on Spectre Island, one of several small “spoil islands” in Santa Rosa Sound, according to dispatch records. The five men had taken a boat to the island and had set up decoys when the accident occurred. Kirkland said the five friends were standing close when one of the men, 30-year-old Travis Raymond Julius, swung to shoot at a duck. His ammunition grazed the side of Tolar’s head. Tolar was alert and conscious when he was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola for his injuries. He was released Monday.
  17. METARIE, LA, 1/05/14: A woman was arrested and booked with aggravated battery after authorities say she shot her boyfriend in their Metairie apartment. Evelyn Avelar, 19, told investigators she accidentally shot her 37-year-old boyfriend on Sunday (Jan. 5) while moving a gun she said belonged to him, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office incident and arrest reports. The man was in stable condition after surgery to treat a gunshot wound to his chest, the report said. Avelar called 911 on Sunday about 5:25 p.m. to report the shooting at their apartment, 2804 Independence St., Metairie. Deputies arrived and found Avelar's boyfriend lying in bed with a wound to the left side of his chest, the report said. Avelar told investigators the gun discharged as she was moving the .22-caliber pistol from a dresser drawer to another location. She said she didn't think the gun was loaded because there was no magazine, the report said. Avelar told investigators she pulled the trigger and the bullet struck her boyfriend. Avelar said she was standing 4 feet away from the man when she fired the gun. But the deputy noted a gunpowder burn on the victim's chest, which indicates a "close-range contact," the incident report said. Avelar could not explain why she was moving the gun, and she insisted the shooting was accidental, the report said.
  18. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, 1/06/14: Police are investigating a shooting this morning in Virginia Beach. It happened on Saddlebrook Court. Police say the homeowner accidentally shot himself around 6 a.m. this morning. Police say the homeowner thought someone was breaking into his home. He went looking for who he thought was an intruder – when his gun accidentally went off.
  19. MUNFORD, TN, 1/06/14: Tipton County authorities have released more details about the shooting death of a woman in Munford, Tennessee on Monday evening. Tipton County Sheriff's deputies made the scene of a 911 call of an accidental shooting around 6 p.m. on Monday in Munford, Tenn. Deputies arrived in the 1000 block of Appleberry Road and found 26-year-old Laura Ann Rains suffering from a gunshot wound. According to a release from the sheriff's office, Laura Rains had been accidentally shot by her husband of three years, 25-year-old William Christopher "Chris" Rains. Chris told deputies that his wife was handing him a pistol, when it went off, hitting Laura in the head. She was airlifted to the MED, where she later died from her injury.
  20. BEULAH, AL, 1/06/14: Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Beulah home where a man had accidently shot himself in the chest with a pistol. Sheriff Jay Jones said that at 3:49 p.m., deputies received a call from a 47-year-old man who claimed he had been shot in the chest with his .25-caliber handgun. “He said it was an accident and that he was cleaning his gun when it went off,” Jones said. “That is what he had indicated to us.” Jones said deputies and volunteers with the Beulah Fire and Rescue arrived at the man’s residence in the 1100 block of Lee Road 270, where he was still responsive. Jones said he believes the man was taken to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment. The man’s condition was not known Monday night. “At this point,” it doesn’t appear that foul play was a factor,” Jones said.
  21. FRANKFORT, KY, 1/07/14: A Kentucky state representative accidentally fired her semi-automatic handgun Tuesday night in the Capitol annex office. That incident happened just before the State of the State address delivered by Governor Steve Beshear. Representative Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) says she was unloading the gun according to safety procedure when it accidentally fired.  The bullet struck the floor and ricocheted into a bookcase. Representative Jeff Greer was in the room at the time of the incident and was not hurt. When asked by reporters Wednesday to see where the gun was discharged, Combs declined and said she was putting the gun away because "I don't want to use it anymore." "I thought it was totally clear," Combs said Wednesday. "I am a gun owner. It happens."  Combs added no one was in harms way.
  22. FRESNO, CA, 1/07/14: A 28-year-old man wounded himself in the hand and his son in the leg when a sawed-off shotgun discharged accidentally in east-central Fresno, according to police. Sgt. Rudy Tafoya said Cruz Venegas of Fresno was sitting in a car in the 1600 block of North Maple about 4:45 p.m. with a 17-year-old woman. Venegas' sons, 5 and 6, were in the back seat. Tafoya said that when Venegas and the woman began arguing, he reached back for the shotgun and it fired, wounding him in the left hand and one of his sons in the leg. Venegas' injuries were serious but those of the boy were minor. Officers found methamphetamine and marijuana in the car, Tafoya said. Venegas faces drug and weapon charges.
  23. GLENDALE, CA, 1/07/14: Prosecutors charged a reputed gang member Friday with trying to kill two Glendale men during a brazen carjacking and separate shootings earlier this week. Manuel Jesus Rodriguez, 28, of Tujunga faces two felony counts of attempted murder as well as a charge for carjacking in one of the incidents and a count of assaulting a man with a firearm in the other, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. The men were not wounded during the incidents. Rodriguez was arrested on Tuesday after he carjacked a Toyota Camry from a 37-year-old Glendale man at about 10 p.m. in the 100 block of Sinclair Avenue. Rodriguez fired at least two shots at the man and then fled in his car, police said. Rodriguez was reportedly driving on the northbound Glendale (2) Freeway in the stolen Toyota, but crashed and tried to flee the scene. A Good Samaritan was also driving on the 2 Freeway and stopped to ask Rodriguez if he was hurt. Rodriguez reportedly fired three rounds toward the 42-year-old Glendale man, police said. The rounds struck the man's car. Rodriguez continued running and jumped over a chain-link fence onto Stancrest Avenue. At some point, Rodriguez accidentally shot his left foot, police said.
  24. ROCHESTER, NH, 1/07/14: A Rochester man was struck in the top of the head by a bullet on Tuesday night, but was not injured. Police said Corey Field, 25, of 16 Leonard St., fired a gun from his bedroom. The bullet traveled across the street, through a closed window and through two walls before striking the head of 20-year-old Josh DeMeritt. "It didn't hurt at all, DeMeritt said. DeMeritt was sitting on a bed at a friend's house playing a computer game when the bullet hit him. "The next thing I know, I just have some plaster flying off the wall at me," he said. "I didn't realize it was a bullet, but it hit me right off the top of the head." DeMeritt said he had no idea what happened. "At first, I was really confused, and I was like, 'Why would somebody throw something into the room?' and I looked at the wall, and I was like, 'That's not good,'" he said. Field faces a charge of reckless conduct for discharging a firearm. Donna Stuart, the mother of DeMeritt's friend, said the bullet cut a path through her apartment. "It went through all this and broke this, went through the curtain and made a hole," she said. "It shot straight across the room to where that stocking is right there." DeMeritt and Stuart said they think the bullet was deflected by a stud in the wall, which slowed it enough to not hurt him. DeMeritt said he doesn't know Field, but he has some advice for him. "I would go to a weapons safety class if I was him," DeMeritt said. Field is also facing a charge of falsifying physical evidence. Police said he tried to hide the gun in a snow bank. In court, Field asked if he could apologize to DeMeritt, but he was ordered to have no contact with him. Field said the gun fired accidentally while he was trying to clean it.
  25. WISCASSET, ME, 1/08/14: A 49-year-old Wiscasset man who told police he accidentally shot himself early Wednesday morning was taken by LifeFlight of Maine helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was in surgery later Wednesday. Daniel Reed, 49, was seated in a recliner in the living room of his Gardiner Road home when Wiscasset police, fire and ambulance personnel arrived at approximately 2:35 a.m. Wednesday, Wiscasset Police Chief Troy Cline said in a release. Reed told police that he had accidentally fired a .22 caliber TALA semiautomatic pistol and wounded himself while “messing around” with it. Police said the round entered the left side of Reed’s chest just beneath his breast bone, and exited through his back. After being transported to CMMC by LifeFlight, he was in surgery late Wednesday morning. Police said the gun was secured and held for safekeeping.
  26. MOOREFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH, 1/08/14: An 18-year-old man was injured after his brother may have accidentally shot him with a handgun Wednesday night in Clark County. Jacob Hamm, 22, was opening a safe to remove the firearm when it accidentally discharged, he told deputies during an interview. The gunfire hit Hamm's brother in the abdomen and arm. Investigators responded to the residence in the 6900 block of Fieldbrook Road around 5:30 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from someone requesting an ambulance, deputies said. The caller disconnected from dispatchers after requesting the ambulance. Medics initially removed the victim to Springfield Regional Medical Center, but he was later transported to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment. The 18-year-old's injuries were not believed to be life threatening, according to deputies.
  27. HAWTHORNE, CA, 1/08/14: A search is underway for an armed robber who shot the owner of a small market in Hawthorne and then reportedly apologized. According to detectives, the suspect walked into the packed El Bodeguero Market around 5:30 p.m. He went right past an 8-year-old boy and then took out a gun. The man working at the register immediately put up his arms to comply. A woman, who only wanted to be identified as Tess, stood just steps away while her two kids looked on as well. "Once he got inside behind the counter, he glocked the gun [Ed. note: Is that what they're calling it these days? Glock's not gonna like that.] and said, 'I want the money,'" said Tess. The man behind the counter appeared to comply, kept his hands up and offered instructions on where to collect the money. Then all of a sudden, without warning, the gun went off. The victim was shot in the leg and fell to the ground. Tess said the suspect seemed startled. "He panicked and he dropped everything. He dropped the money he had in his hands," she said. "According to my 8-year-old, he kept saying, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'" The man left with what's believed to be $500. The victim was hospitalized and later released.
  28. JANESVILLE, WI, 1/08/14: Wisconsin police say a 20-year-old Huntley man accidentally shot his teenage sister in the arm, thinking she was an intruder. A Janesville Gazette report (http://bit.ly/... ) says the man arrived in Janesville, Wis., on Monday to visit family. Police say he didn't know his 13-year-old sister was home Wednesday afternoon. She had just gotten out of bed and he could hear movement in her room, and he figured someone was trying to break into the house through her bedroom window. He got his father's 9 mm handgun and fired through the bedroom door. The bullet hit the girl's right triceps and also caused a flesh wound on her upper body. Deputy police Chief Dan Davis says he plans to recommend a felony charge of recklessly endangering safety.
  29. GRAND FORKS, ND, 1/08/14: A Grand Forks man accidentally shot in Grand Forks Wednesday has died, according to Grand Forks police. Adam Denevan, 24, was handling a handgun when it fired, police said. The shooting appears to be an accident, police said, but there has been no official determination of the manner of death, and the incident is under investigation.
  30. CHICAGO, IL, 1/08/14: A South Shore woman shot her brother in the eye during an argument about whether his gun could fire, prosecutors said Saturday. Joeann Smith, 52, appeared in bond court Saturday afternoon in connection with a shooting earlier this week that left her older brother, Willie Smith, brain dead. She was charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm charge. Prosecutors said Willie Smith, 59, came over to his sister's apartment in the 1700 block of East 72nd Street on Wednesday. The two began drinking, and Smith pulled out a .22-caliber revolver from the bedroom. Willie Smith said the revolver was too old to work as he and his sister took turns handling the gun. At one point, Willie Smith handed the gun to his sister, and it went off while her finger was on the trigger, Joeann Smith later told police, according to court documents. The shot went through Willie Smith's right eye and lodged in his brain, according to court documents. Joeann Smith called the police about 7 p.m., and when officers arrived at the apartment, they found the 59-year-old man "laying on the living room floor face down and breathing slowly," according to police reports. Smith told police she had shot her brother when "they had been playing with a gun and it had accidentally gone off." Willie Smith was rushed in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where doctors found the bullet had left Smith brain dead.
  31. RICHMOND, VA, 1/09/14: A Virginia Department of Corrections officer accidentally shot himself in a parking lot near VCU Medical Center Thursday morning. The gun accidentally went off around 8 a.m. Thursday injuring the officer, according to VCU Police. The officer was taken to VCU Medical Center. Police say there was no threat to public safety.UPDATE: Richmond police said two state corrections officers were transporting an inmate when one of their guns accidentally went off and the other officer was wounded.
  32. BRANDYWINE, MD, 1/09/13: Prince George's County police said an accidental shooting led to the death of a man in Brandywine, Md., Thursday morning. Officers were called to a home in the 18700 block of Croom Road at 1:35 a.m. Thursday for a report of a shooting. When they arrived at the scene, they found the victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the body. He was pronounced dead at the scene. According to a preliminary investigation, someone accidentally shot the man. Police are speaking with friends and family of the victim who were in the home at the time to piece together what happened. No charges have been filed at this time. The shooter and the victim have not been identified. The scene is located in a rural area, with the home sitting at the end of a long driveway off the main roadway. A neighbor told News4's Megan McGrath that she often hears gunshots in area, but she didn't hear anything early Thursday morning. She said officers she spoke with told her everything was OK and that she and her family were safe. UPDATE: A Prince George’s man was killed when a rifle accidentally went off as the group he was with played with the gun in a Brandywine home Thursday, authorities say. The incident occurred at about 1:30 a.m., when police were called to a home in the 18700 block of Croom Road for a report of a shooting. When police arrived and entered the home, they found Errick Lamar Pratt, 23, dead with a gunshot wound to the head, Prince George’s police spokeswoman Julie Parker said. “The preliminary investigation tells us that there was a group of five people — three men and two women — hanging out at the home and playing with a gun and the gun went off,” Parker said.
  33. HOUSTON, TX, 1/09/14: Houston police say a man was able to sneak a gun past a security checkpoint at the Greyhound bus station in downtown Thursday morning. The gun accidentally went off, shooting the ground. The bullet fragments hit another passenger, causing minor injuries. A company spokesman says Greyhound does not allow weapons on its busses. Security at the station is supposed to check passengers and their luggage with a handheld metal detector. “He made it through the checkpoint,” said Orlando Gomez with the Houston Police Department. “I'm not sure how he got that weapon through.” The man with the gun was arrested and police said they also found drugs on him. “That's pretty dangerous, you know what I'm saying,” said fellow passenger Luis Rodriguez. “That's a breach of security right there. They should double check everything -- especially with all that terrorism going around right now.” A Greyhound spokesman says the company is cooperating police and investigating to see how the weapon made it through security.
  34. COLUMBIA CO., FL, 1/09/14: A 30-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the chest in Columbia County Thursday morning. According to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office press release, the gun was leaning against the front door of a residence in the 11800 block of SE CR-245. The homeowner, Patricia Barber, said the 22 caliber rifle was placed there to protect her chickens from a fox. Her son, Brian Wayne Ward, went to move the gun at about 11:45 a.m. when it dropped and discharged because the safety was off. The bullet hit the right side of his chest and exited through his right shoulder.
  35. INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 1/10/14: A 13-year-old girl was grazed on the side of her head by a stray bullet late Friday night in the 29 hundred block of North New Jersey Street. She was taken to Methodist Hospital, but then around 6:45 a.m. Saturday was transferred to Riley Hospital for Children. The teen told IMPD that she was using her laptop in the front room of her home when she was shot. No further information, including the condition of the girl, is available at this time.
  36. CHRISTIANA, TN, exact date unknown: It's not uncommon to hear gunshots in parts of rural Rutherford County, but some residents in Christiana say bullets from someone shooting target practice came awfully close, even hitting a nearby home. Four people in the area escaped injury, including college student Hailey McWhorter, who was taking her neighbor's mail next door when the family's horses started going wild. "They looked like they were going to jump over the fence, and I said, 'Whoa,'" McWhorter said. She said bullets then came whizzing by. "It just went flying over my head, so I just ducked down," she said. "I didn't know what else to do because if they start shooting, I was like, 'I might get shot.'" One bullet struck a double-wide mobile home on Wayside Road and penetrated the bathroom wall, landing in a tub often used by a six-year-old girl. "If my renter's daughter had been in the bathtub, it would have killed her," Jeffrey McWhorter said. Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies were called to investigate. They believe the gunshots were coming from a farm on Sledge Road in Christiana about 650 yards away. Two people, Michelle Baker and Troy Barrett, were cutting trees nearby and also reported bullets flying over their heads. The area where the target practice was taking place is surrounded by a thicket of trees, huge rock and an old trailer. James Phillips, the man accused of shooting, said there is no way a bullet from the gun he was shooting could travel so far. "I was shooting into the pit at a downward position. There is no way a 9mm could go through that big ole thicket, through that thicket and hit someone's home," Phillips said. Phillips said he collects guns and is a registered permit holder. He does security work and said he is a bounty hunter.
  37. CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, 1/10/14: CCPD's Gang Unit was called out to a shooting late Friday night, but it turns out the person who was shot told officers he shot himself. The call, on Melissa Lane originally came in as a drive-by shooting, but was later downgraded to an accidental shooting. The incident is still under investigation, as police say the man involved is a convicted felon and might be charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
  38. TYLER, TX, 1/10/14: A 25-year-old Tyler woman is recovering after being shot Friday night at her apartment. The victim's roommate says she and Armis Barnes were having a normal night at The Rose Valley Apartment Homes off of North Northwest Loop 323, in Tyler. Suddenly, the roommate said, Ke'avier, or KJ, Wilson-Hurd shot Barnes in the face. Wilson-Hurd was arrested at the scene. You might remember his name from a previous arrest. Wilson-Hurd was arrested last summer in connection with the PT Cole Park shooting in Tyler. [Ed. note: see here.] Briana Young, 20, died in that shooting in front of her three-year-old son. Wilson-Hurd was charged with murder in the case but a grand jury didn't find enough evidence to pursue the charge in court, so Wilson-Hurd was released. Bonnie Jones was getting her two young children ready for bed in the apartment she shares with her cousin, Armis Barnes, when she heard a loud noise from the bedroom. "When she walked toward me her eye was messed up and he was yelling he's sorry it was an accident," Jones said, claiming Ke'avier Jarrod Wilson-Hurd had accidentally shot her cousin while the two were hanging out Friday night. "She said it was an accident and the next thing she knew turned to him and she saw fire," she continued. They say the two hadn't been fighting and were good friends. "And he kept saying it was an accident it was an accident I didn't mean to do it," she said. Family members of Armis Barnes said they think Wilson-Hurd shot Barnes accidentally.


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