This blog will focus on political images I have found all around the Internet, though I will intersperse some commentary and quotes that I find interesting.
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Wow, what a week! By now you’ve noticed that the hunting accidents are on the decline, but longtime followers of GunFAIL know very well that any week including the New Year’s holiday is going to be a big one. In fact, the number of New Year’s Eve GunFAILs is the first thing in a long, long time to even come close to challenging the dominance of those who accidentally shoot themselves each week. It was a close call, but self-inflicted shootings is the winner and still champion this time, with 28 cases, versus 24 instances of injury and/or property damage due to celebratory gunfire. Six people (and one horse) were injured by random NYE gunfire. That leaves 17 celebratory gunfire incidents that resulted in damage to someone else’s property, in addition to another six times people found other ways to accidentally share bullets with neighbors. Thanks, patriots!
A total of fourteen GunFAIL incidents resulted in fatalities during the week, including the above-mentioned horse, by the way. Nine people were accidentally shot by family members or significant others, and nine victims of GunFAIL were children. Close readers of this series will know that that’s actually a relatively small number, especially for a week during which so many children were home from school. But it seems the guns were being fondled in the hands of irresponsible adults for much of the week, rather than being left lying around for the kids.
There are a number of rather remarkable stories among the offerings from the week, beginning with the very first story on the list. Though to be honest, what makes it remarkable is really that it’s actually sadly commonplace. Then, of course, there was the rash of New Year’s Eve celebratory gunfire stories. But the truly unique entry from this last week of 2015 comes from Indianapolis, where a veteran at the local VA facility was accidentally shot with the handgun in his own pocket “while he was in a procedure room—possibly an MRI suite.” That opened up all sorts of new avenues of inquiry for me, and let me tell you, you don’t want to bring any metal objects into an MRI room with you, the M standing for “magnet,” of course. And a very powerful one at that. And I think it goes without saying that of all the metal objects you don’t want to bring with you into the procedure room, a handgun probably tops the list. This one really ranks up there with the infamous chicken bullets and waffles oven incident of February 2013.
Since this installment of GunFAIL will wrap up the 2015 calendar year, I’ll add some additional notes about some specific types of incidents I’ve kept separate count of along the way. In 2015, I have so far counted 2,140 GunFAIL incidents, 916 people who accidentally shot themselves, 512 kids accidentally shot, and 93 kids under age 15 accidentally shot to death.
It was a long, long year.
BATON ROUGE, LA, 12/27/16: East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Gonzales woman Sunday night after they say she accidentally fired a gun into an adjacent apartment. Lauren Lee, 20 of Gonzales, noted she was intoxicated early Sunday morning and pulled the trigger of a gun she thought wasn't loaded, according to her arrest report. A couple living at the Indigo Park Apartment Complex on Nicholson Drive in Baton Rouge woke up around 3 AM to what sounded like a gun shot. "I heard a loud boom," the neighbor said. The couple told deputies they didn’t think anything of it at the time and fell back asleep.Seventeen hours later, they noticed the hole and bullet fragments scattered throughout part of their bed's headboard. "I mean, had the bed been pushed over a little bit further, it probably would have went into his head," the female victim said. Deputies responded and observed a hole in the wall along with what appeared to be a bullet lodged in the frame of the bed. Deputies spoke with the neighbors next door apartment, who said that a gun was accidentally fired on Saturday night by a guest named Lauren. Deputies were able to contact Lee by phone, and she met deputies at the Kleinpeter substation for an interview. Lee confirmed that she did fire the handgun on accident. She told deputies she thought the gun was unloaded and pulled the trigger. She also admitted to being intoxicated during the incident. Lee was booked into the parish prison on charges of criminal damage to property and illegal use of a weapon.
CARTERSVILLE, GA, 12/27/15: A Cartersville man is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the lower leg. Police were called to Cartersville Medical Center when Nathan Roberts Howell, of 159 Etowah St., showed up shortly after 1 AMSunday with a bullet lodged in the fleshy part of his leg. According to CPD reports: Howell said he was relaxing at home, drinking alcohol in front of a bonfire, when he noticed a car had been driving by, “suspiciously slow.” It put him on edge, he said, so he got his WaltherP22 handgun and returned to his seat by the fire. As he was getting ready to go in to bed, he moved the gun from his back pocket to his front and it accidentally discharged. No charges were filed.
SOMIS, CA, 12/27/15: A Ventura County man working in an orchard is recovering from a gunshot wound investigators believe was accidental. The 57 year old victim was working in an orchard near Heatherton Drive, and North Greentree Drive in Somis just before 2 PM yesterday when he was hit by a bullet. The Camarillo man was flown by a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department helicopter to a hospital for treatment of what was determined to be a non-life threatening wound. Investigators think the shot was accidental, but are looking for someone responsible for the gross negligent discharge of a firearm.
DULUTH, MN, 12/27/15: A 19-year-old man is dead after what police are calling an unintentional shooting in Duluth on Sunday. Police say the shooter is a 21-year-old man who resides in the same home as the victim. Duluth Police responded to the area of the 300 block of West Faribault Street around 2 Sunday afternoon on reports of a shooting. Jacob Andrew Bergman was taken to the hospital for a gunshot wound, where he later died of his injuries. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
FORT WAYNE, IN, 12/27/15: A woman told Fort Wayne Police on Sunday evening that someone had shot through her apartment ceiling into her cabinet while she was cooking. Police responded at 5:57 PM Sunday to the 2200 block of Broadway to a reported shooting. The woman in the downstairs apartment showed the officers where the round came through, according to a police report. Officers went to the upstairs apartment and brought three occupants downstairs. Witnesses told them that someone in the upstairs apartment was playing with a handgun when it accidentally went off, according to the report. The witnesses said they didn't know who the suspect was or where he went. The man who rented the apartment said he was asleep when the incident occurred. No firearm was found on the premises but a spent shell casing was found on a small table in the back bedroom.
GARFIELD TOWNSHIP, CLARE CO., MI, 12/27/15: A Clare County man is behind bars for allegedly shooting his wife Sunday night. Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis on Monday charged Ray Richard Hansen, 39, of Garfield Township with careless discharge causing injury and having a short barreled shotgun, Clare County Sheriff’s Lt. Ed Williams said Tuesday. Hansen was arraigned Monday in 80th District Court in Harrison and ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $7,500 cash bond, Williams said. Deputies were called to a home in the 9000 block of East Street in Garfield township at roughly 9 PM Sunday to investigate a negligent discharge of a firearms complaint. When deputies arrived, they found Hansen’s 35-year-old wife had a gunshot wound to her left leg, Williams said. Deputies administered first aid until paramedics from Mobile Medical Response ambulance service arrived. Williams said deputies found the illegal shotgun and confiscated the weapon. Deputies arrested Hansen for possession of a short barreled shotgun, possession of a firearm while under the influence and reckless use of a firearm. Hansen’s wife was flown to MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland, then was transferred to Hurley Medical Center in Flint for further treatment, Williams said. Garfield Rescue, LifeNet and MMR assisted deputies at the scene.
COTOPAXI, CO, 12/27/15: Deputies responded to 100 block of County Road 34A in Cotopaxi on a report of an accidental shooting. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
GLASSBORO, NJ, 12/27/15: Police are investigating Sunday night shooting that left a man with a gunshot wound to the chest. Police say they responded to Park Crest Village apartments at 8:54 PM, where they found a 22-year-old male victim conscious and alert. According to police, the victim reported that his girlfriend had picked up a firearm, located on the nightstand, that she did not know was loaded. The gun discharged and the round struck the victim in his chest. The girlfriend immediately called 911, police said. The man was taken to Cooper University Hospital where he was in stable condition with a non-life threatening injury, officials said. Police say the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed at the time of this release.
TRENTON, NJ, 12/28/15: Authorities say a police officer accidentally shot another officer in the foot when a man ran out of a Trenton apartment and assaulted them. The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office says Trenton officers Michael Tradigo and Luis Cruz had gone to a city apartment early Monday to investigate a reported burglary in progress. Authorities say a witness reported seeing an armed man enter the apartment. But the man soon ran out and assaulted the officers as they tried to enter the apartment. Prosecutors say Cruz was treated at a hospital for his wound and has been released. But further details on his condition were not disclosed. The suspect, identified only as a 30-year-old Hamilton man, is charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and burglary. His bail was set at $50,000.
PORTAGE, NY, 12/28/15: A woman from Livingston County was arrested for falsely reporting a shooting Monday. Deputies said 26-year-old Brittney Ellis called 911 around 3:45 AM Monday and told the dispatcher that she had been shot in the leg by an unknown masked man at her front door. Deputies responded to the scene and secured the scene so Nunda Ambulance and Livingston County EMS could care for Ellis. Ellis was transported to Strong Hospital. After several hours of gathering evidence, investigators went to Strong Hospital to speak with Ellis. Several people who were interviewed at the scene pointed out inaccuracies in Ellis's story based on the evidence on scene. After being interviewed extensively, Ellis admitted she made the whole story up and had accidentally shot herself in her leg after going outside with a loaded gun to check on the reason why her dogs were barking. Ellis was charged with falsely reporting an incident, making a punishable false written statement, and second-degree reckless endangerment.
LONG BEACH, CA, 12/28/15: A woman was shot in the hand after a gun was accidentally discharged at a Long Beach residence Monday afternoon, authorities said. Officers were dispatched to the 2200 block of Santa Fe Avenue on Monday, December 28 at 4:28 PM, according to Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokeswoman Marlene Arrona. The female victim, with a gunshot injury to her hand, was located by police. “The preliminary investigation indicates the incident may have been an accidental discharge,” Arrona stated. It is unclear whether the woman accidentally shot herself or was shot by someone else. The investigation remains ongoing.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA, 12/28/15: A 17-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself in the head at a park in Rancho Cucamonga, authorities stated Wednesday. The boy, whose identity was not released, was with a group of friends at Victoria Arbors Park when the shooting occurred at about 8 PM Monday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release. Witnesses told investigators the boy was playing with a handgun, which he had inherited from a family member, when he accidentally shot himself in the head. Witnesses immediately called for help and the boy was flown to a local area hospital in critical condition. There was no evidence of foul play or a suicide attempt, according to investigators.
BATTLE GROUND, WA, 12/28/15: A 19-year-old man was taken to the hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the leg while cleaning his gun Monday in Battle Ground. Police officers and paramedics responded at about 3:35 PM to a report of a neighbor who had shot himself. Battle Ground Police Department spokeswoman Bonnie Gilberti said the man was cleaning a weapon at 614 N.W. 13th Circle when it fired, and he was taken to a hospital. The man’s name and his medical condition were not available.
UNION, SC, 12/28/15: A Union man suffered a gunshot wound after he sat on a gun, according to a police report from the Union Police Department. The report said an officer was called to a home on South Enterprise Street for a shooting. When the officer arrived, he said he found a man, lying in the floor in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the left leg. When the officer asked the man where the gun was, he said someone left with it but he didn’t know who, according to the report. The report said the man told the officer he got out of the shower, sat down in the chair, and the gun went off. The officer found a shell casing on the floor next to the chair, the report said.
BETHEL, AK, 12/28/15: A 4-year-old boy is dead after he accidentally shot himself with a firearm that he found in his Bethel State Trooper Housing home, Alaska State Troopers wrote in a dispatch Tuesday. Bethel police and medics were called to State Trooper housing at about 6:30 PM Monday to reports that a child had been injured. Investigators with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation from Anchorage arrived in Bethel Tuesday. "Investigation revealed that William Anderson, age 4, was playing by himself in the family living room when he obtained a privately owned firearm and subsequently suffered a fatal gunshot wound," troopers wrote. Trooper spokesman Tim Despain told Channel 2 News that the boy's father is an Alaska State Trooper who was not at home at the time of the shooting. The handgun was owned by the Anderson family. There were two adults and two children present in the home at the time of the accidental shooting, Despain told Channel 2 News in an email. The State Medical Examiner's office will conduct an autopsy, expected to take place on Wednesday.
JACKSONVILLE, FL, 12/28/15: A young burglary suspect is in the hospital recovering after he shot himself in the leg attempting to pull a gun on a homeowner, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Officers responded to the incident early Monday morning on North Old Middleburg Road and McGlothlin Street which followed a car burglary in a Westside neighborhood. "The victim came out of the house, observed the suspect burglarizing his vehicle and made contact with the suspect. Upon that happening, the suspect threatened that he had a weapon," Sgt. A.L. Tompkins said. The victim backed off and the suspected armed burglar took off in his personal car. Police said the homeowner followed the the fleeing susect about 500 yards when the suspect attempted to draw his weapon, but shot himself in the process. "He continued to run northbound on Old Middleburg Road where he dropped several items and ended up falling on the ground and rescue was called for him," said Tompkins. Among the items dropped was a loaded gun clip. The person shot, believed to be a teenager or young adult, was in surgery at UF Health Jacksonville. His name and condition were not released, but the injury was not considered life-threatening. Investigators said at least three other cars in the area were burglarized overnight. Police said Old Middleburg Road in the area would remain closed all morning while police process the scene.
JACKSONVILLE, FL, 12/28/15: A man accidentally shot himself late Monday in a Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 9431 Philips Highway, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Police said the unidentified man was in the restaurant just before 10 PM when his gun went off, hitting him in a foot. This was the second accidental self-inflicted gunshot incident in Jacksonville Monday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
ST. CLOUD, FL, 12/29/15: A St. Cloud woman shot and killed her daughter Tuesday, when she thought the victim was an intruder breaking into her home, police officials said. At about 11:51 PM, St. Cloud Police Department officers responded to a home on 10th Street in reference to an accidental shooting. During the investigation, detectives learned the mother was asleep in her bed when she thought an intruder had entered the house and was quickly approaching her. The mother grabbed a gun and fired one round at the subject, which was later identified as her daughter. The daughter was transported to Osceola Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The mother also was transported to Osceola Regional Hospital. The mother’s story was consistent with the physical evidence and a witness’ statement. “At this time the incident appears to be an accidental shooting,” St. Cloud Police Sgt. Denise Roberts said in a press release. Police officials have not released the name of the mother or the daughter. The investigation is ongoing. Once the investigation is completed, the case will be forwarded to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office for review.
TROTWOOD, OH, 12/29/15: Trotwood police said a man sought the help of a neighbor after accidentally shooting himself Tuesday evening. Officers and medics responded to the 1400 block of Hagerman Drive in Trotwood on reports of a man shot. Police said the man accidentally shot himself in his home then walked to his neighbor’s porch asking for help. The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment and the injury is not believed to be life threatening. It’s unknown if the man will face any charges.
WINSTON-SALEM, NC, 12/29/15: The wife of a Winston-Salem Police Department employee is in the hospital after police say he accidentally shot her. Winston-Salem police responded to 2305 Quinn Forest Way Tuesday at 7:19 PM after receiving a discharging firearms call. Investigators said preliminary information indicated that Nikolaos Keefe Tish, who is a Winston-Salem Police Department recruit, was handling a personal weapon at his home when it went off and hit his wife. Tish’s wife was taken to Baptist Hospital for treatment to a gunshot wound to the abdomen. According to a release, Tish joined the department in August and is still in training. There is no word on his wife’s condition.
EL PASO, TX, 12/29/15: A man who shot his girlfriend in the shoulder was not arrested for the shooting – he was arrested on a possession of marijuana charge. A woman was accidentally shot in the shoulder Tuesday night at home in the 1700 block of Judith Resnik Drive. Police told our news partner, The El Paso Times, they found more than four ounces of marijuana inside the home. Alejandro Riojas, 22, allegedly shot his live-in girlfriend in the shoulder with a small-caliber handgun, said police. The woman, whose name was not released, was treated for a wound that was not life-threatening, police said. Riojas was booked into the El Paso County Detention Center in lieu of a $1,500 bond. He was not charged in the shooting.
BORGER, TX, 12/29/15: Sometimes in the midst of tragedy, people get so caught up in telling a story that they forget the details they are relating may or may not be true, and that the tragedy is, for someone at least, very real. Carla Anderson has known tragedy in her life, and came face to face with it again following the incident in downtown Borger early Tuesday morning. The victim of the much discussed shooting Tuesday in the wee-morning hours was her son, Jonathan Gaytan. He is a longtime resident of Borger, who attended Borger High School and later served in the US Army. Gaytan is known to many, which may be part of why the discussion on social media sites such as Facebook has been so lively. What Gaytan's mother wants people to know and realize is that her son's life is not just fodder for the gossip mill. “This was not a suicide,” said Anderson, her voice choked from tears as she spoke via telephone from the hospital where her son is currently in ICU. “This was an accidental shooting.” Anderson took time away from her son's beside to make a plea to Borger citizens to put an end to rumors and false statements on social media. She wanted to set the record straight for all those that were curious. The story has been told and retold to the point that this mother, who is currently by her son's beside, has had to take calls from concerned neighbors who read on social media about a death that never took place, or about an attack that never happened. Without doubt, Gaytan's mother said, the shooting that occurred was accidental. The good news is, that Jonathan Gaytan is expected to make a full, albeit long recovery. “The doctors told me this morning that he will make a full recovery.” said Anderson, it will be a difficult road, but with the support of the community of Borger, Gaytan already has a cheering section for every step he takes towards recovery. According to his mother, he is currently in the intensive care trauma unit at the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City which is home to Oklahoma's only Trauma One emergency room. With the excellent care he is receiving, Gaytan continues to improve and is expected to continue to progress. More updates are promised in the future, but for now Anderson has asked that gossipers silence their lips to all but the truth, her son was injured in an accidental shooting, and he is expected to make a full recovery.
LITHONIA, GA, 12/30/15: A 17-year-old has been charged in the shooting death of a 13-year-old in DeKalb County. Marcus Lewis, 13, was accidentally shot in the face by his friend, Aaron Harcum, 17, around 10:30 PM Wednesday. Police say the boys found the gun in the woods near a home on Idlewood Park in Lithonia. They were playing with the gun in the garage when it went off and Lewis was hit. Harcum ran to a neighbor’s house for help. Lewis died soon after arriving at Grady Memorial Hospital. According to police, Harcum ran out saying he was sorry that he had shot his friend. Harcum has been charged with negligent manslaughter. Police say they will look at the history of the gun to find out who it might have belonged to. “We will track the weapon to find out where it was purchased, where it originally came from,” DeKalb police Maj. Steve Fore said.Friends have created a Go Fund Me account to help Lewis' mom pay for funeral expenses.
PHILADELPHIA, PA, 12/30/15: A suspect shot himself in the leg during a home invasion in Philadelphia, police said. The incident happened about 11 PM Wednesday in the 2500 block of N. Bancroft Street in North Philadelphia. Investigators say two masked men entered the home and confronted a mother of two in the second floor of the home and demanded she empty her purse. “In the next room are two children – a seven-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl – start crying. One of the perpetrators orders the woman ‘tell your children to stop crying’ and fires the gun,” said Chief Inspector Scott Small. Small said the bullet struck the suspect in the leg. Both suspects then left the home. A short time later, the suspect showed up at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center for treatment. Hospital officials contacted police and the victim was brought to the hospital where she positively identified the suspect, Small said. “The fact that he shot himself in the leg helped us apprehend him that much quicker,” Small explained. The mother and her two children were not physically injured. The second suspect remains on the loose.
LEXINGTON, KY, 12/30/15: A foot pursuit Wednesday night in the Red Mile area ended with two suspects in jail and one at large, police said. Police saw what they believed to be a stolen SUV around 11:45 PM and attempted to stop it, Lexington police Lt. David Biroschik said. The driver refused to stop and drove off, so police began searching for the vehicle. There was no police chase, but eventually, the SUV struck a police cruiser, Biroschik said. The three suspects ran. Two were found after a foot pursuit. Antonio David Adams, 40, tried to dispose of a gun while he ran and accidentally shot himself, causing a minor injury, Biroschik said. WKYT reported Adams shot himself in the hand and the bullet grazed his abdomen. Adams was found hiding under a car, Biroschik said. Police believed Adams had a gun, so they used a police dog to try to flush him out. The dog bit him, Biroschik said. Adams was taken to the hospital and later released into police custody. Adams was charged with leaving the scene of an accident; third-degree assault; two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment; receiving stolen property; resisting arrest; tampering with physical evidence; possession of a handgun by a felon; and fleeing or evading police. Jacory Kenyon Logwood, 28, was also arrested, Biroschik said. He was charged with failure to appear; fleeing and evading; and possession of a controlled substance.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 12/30/15: A veteran was wounded Wednesday at Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center when a handgun he brought into the Indianapolis hospital accidentally discharged in his pocket while he was in a procedure room — possibly an MRI suite. Hospital officials confirmed the accidental shooting in a statement issued Thursday and reported the victim, whose name was not released, received immediate medical attention. The statement added the man's wound did not threaten his life. A hospital spokesman initially confirmed in a telephone call from The Indianapolis Star that the incident involved an MRI, but the subsequent statement said only that the incident occurred "in a procedure room." When asked for clarification about the involvement of the MRI, the spokesman said in an email that the statement "is our response at this time." The statement noted it is a violation of federal and state law to bring a firearm into the hospital and "notification of this law is posted at every entrance." Having a gun or other metal object in the vicinity of an MRI machine would also be a violation of widely accepted medical and safety protocol, according to American Journal of Roentgenology, and could have fatal consequences. It was unclear Thursday if criminal charges would be pursued. The Marion County prosecutor's office was closed Thursday. The accident at Roudebush may be the first time in the U.S. that a patient was wounded when a gun discharged in an MRI unit. It also is at least the second instance of a handgun accidentally firing in the suite of one powerful imagining machines which, according to WebMD, use "a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body."
CHINO, CA, 12/30/15: A California Department of Corrections officer was treated for a gunshot wound to her hip Wednesday at the shooting range at California Institution for Men in Chino. “Her weapon discharged while she was trying to holster it,” said Chino Valley Fire District spokeswoman Massiel Ladron De Guevara. Paramedics were called to the shooting range near Central Avenue and El Prado Road at 11:06 AM on a report of an accidental shooting. The officer, who was identified only as a woman in her 40s, was taken by ambulance to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. She has since been released. The injured woman does not work for CIM, but is a backgrounds investigator working out of Rancho Cucamonga. No other injuries were reported.
KILA, MT, exact date unknown: A man reported that he was in an Evergreen store and was headed to the hospital. The man said he accidentally shot himself in the leg somewhere near Kila.
DEMING, NM, exact date unknown: A Deming woman accidentally shot herself in the foot while hunting jackrabbits off Warm Springs Road Southeast. Martinez said 26-year-old Charlsie Penaflor told authorities she answered her cellular phone while holding a loaded 22-caliber firearm when the firearm discharged into her left foot.Penaflor was transported to the hospital by private vehicle for treatment of the injury.
SAN ANTONIO, TX, 12/31/15: A woman was shot in the leg by a family member Thursday morning. Police said that a woman was accidentally shot by her nephew in the leg on the 7000 block of Chambers Street near Fredericksburg Road around 1:25 AM Thursday morning. According to a police report, the woman’s nephew was playing with his gun under the table that was surrounded by family members when the gun accidentally discharged and fired a shot into the woman’s leg. The woman said the shooting was accidental and that she was not going to pursue any charges against her nephew. The woman was taken to University Hospital where she is expected to be ok.
PONDER, TX, 12/31/15: Ponder and Krum fire units responded to a gunshot wound at the Ponder fire station. A man shot himself in the leg and was brought to the firehouse for aid, according to reports.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, 12/31/15: A 43-year-old man was lucky he was not seriously injured when a shot went through his home and struck him in the torso. Corpus Christi Police responded to the home, located in the 4200 block of Easy Street just before 9:30 PM, and when Officers arrived they were told that a bullet came through the kitchen window and hit the homeowner who was sitting inside in the stomach. Luckily, he was not injured by the bullet. Officers believe the shot came from an open field near the home, where gunfire had been heard earlier in the evening. At this time, Officers have not located the person they believe is responsible. It is unknown if the shot was fired by a hunter or if someone celebrating the New Year fired the gun.
SHARKEY CO., MS, 12/31/15: A 16-year-old boy died in a hunting accident on New Year’s Eve. The Sharkey County sheriff said the shooting was reported about 7 AM Thursday at Delta National Forest. Cayle Mitchell Taylor, of Franklinton, Louisiana, died after he was accidentally shot by his father, the Sharkey County coroner said. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, the coroner said. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is heading up the investigation.
SANTA CLARA, UT, 12/31/15: Police responded to a home on Gubler Drive in Santa Clara after receiving reports of a man injured after his firearm discharged accidentally. Just after 3 PM Thursday, emergency dispatch received a call reporting a man having been injured after accidentally shooting himself in the leg, Santa Clara Police Public Information Officer Chad Holt said. Police and rescue personnel responding to the home on Gubler Drive found a male bleeding heavily from his leg. He was very pale and appeared to be in shock, Santa Clara Ivins Police Sgt. Jaron Studley said. The man was conscious and told police he was visiting family from out of town and while taking his gun out of the holster, it accidentally discharged, sending a bullet through his left thigh. “That bullet went through and through,” Studley said. The man was sitting on the couch with family at the time the gun discharged,” Studley said. “Fortunately, no one else was injured, and they quickly called 911.” The man was rushed to Dixie Regional Medical Center to be treated for his injuries and was in stable condition, Studley said. “Luckily someone in the home had some training or experience because they helped stabilize him before we got there,” Studley said, “even applying pressure to his leg to reduce the bleeding.” “The man still lost a great deal of blood,” he said. “So he was very fortunate that he had family there to help him.” During the investigation, officers recovered a .40 caliber projectile in the couch cushion. It was very clear that this was a complete accident, Studley said. Santa Clara Ivins Police Department, Ivins City Fire and Rescue and Ivins City Ambulance responded to the residence. This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
GAFFNEY, SC, 12/31/15: A Gaffney man was killed when he accidentally shot himself at his home on New Years Eve, according to the coroner. Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler says that witnesses reported 20-year-old Tezlar Wayne Ross and three others were looking at a .380 handgun at around 6:30 PM when Ross took the magazine out of the gun and placed it to his head joking with the others when the gun discharged. Ross died at the scene and his death is still under investigation.
CHANDLER, AZ, 12/31/15: Chandler police say a statement by a man who said he shot and killed an intruder on New Year's Eve doesn't fit the facts. Police have arrested and booked the man, who initially told them he fatally shot another man he believed was intruding in his Chandler apartment Thursday morning. Police said the man fabricated his story. Detective Seth Tyler, a Chandler police spokesman, said the suspect, Nathaniel Thomas, 19, lied to officers when he first gave them his account of the shooting. Thomas continued to lie to police even after detectives confronted him with witness and forensic evidence that contradicted his account, according to a police report released Friday afternoon. Police responded to reports of the shooting shortly after 8 AM Thursday. When officers arrived at the apartment complex in the 400 block of North Coronado Street, where Thomas resided, they found the victim, Gage Bodenheimer, shot to death. According to the report, Thomas told police he'd been making breakfast when he saw a man he didn't know come inside the apartment through his second-floor patio's sliding door. The man looked angry, Thomas told police, and reached into his sweatshirt. That's when Thomas pulled out his gun and shot the man in defense, police said Thomas told them. After gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses who'd also spent the night at the apartment, police determined Bodenheimer was inside Thomas' apartment that morning, as were other people. Thomas allegedly pointed a gun at Bodenheimer as he was asleep on the floor to try to wake him up, Tyler said. According to the report, Thomas intended to pull a joke on Bodenheimer by pulling his gun on him to wake him up. It was then that Thomas pulled the trigger, believing a round was not chambered in the gun, Tyler said. After Thomas allegedly shot Bodenheimer, he called 911 and told law enforcement an intruder had entered his home and he'd shot him in self-defense, police said. Detectives confronted Thomas with their evidence. Unspecific crime-scene evidence led police to conclude Bodenheimer had been shot in the face while lying on the ground. Witnesses told police they saw Thomas standing over the body. After that, police said, Thomas changed his story again and said the gun went off because Bodenheimer tried to reach for it. Police said in the report that Thomas has an extensive history using guns -- he took his first firearms safety course when he was 5, shoots regularly and was found by responding officers with a gun holster around his waist. Thomas was arrested and booked on counts of second-degree murder and indifference to human life, Tyler said.
AKRON, OH, 12/31/15: An Akron teen accidentally shot his 13-year-old-girlfriend in the stomach with his father's gun, Akron police said. The teen was arrested on charges of felonious assault. His case is in Summit County Juvenile Court. The boy's father, Tony Cox, 43, is charged with possessing a weapon despite having a felony record. His case has been bound over to Summit County Common Pleas Court. The teen and his girlfriend attended First Night Akron on New Year's Eve at Lock 3 park. They left about 10 PM and went back to the teen's house in the 800 block of East Crosier Street. He grabbed his father's gun and began shooting at a garbage can with a target painted on the side for practice, according to court records. The teen accidentally shot his girlfriend in the stomach. He drove her to his grandmother's house. The grandmother drove the girl to Akron Children's Hospital, court records say. The two teens initially told police that a fight broke out at Lock 3 near the parking deck. They said a group of men started fighting, someone fired gunshots and that they ran back to their car and discovered that the girl had been shot. Detectives asked officers working security at the event about a shooting. No one called to report gunshots or fighting from the Lock 3 that night, police said. Officers questioned the teens again. They both admitted they made up the story about the Lock 3 fight, police said. The boy then told police he used his father's gun for the shooting. Akron officers found the revolver on top of the refrigerator in the home, according to court records. Cox is not allowed to possess a gun because of a criminal history that includes two convictions for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity in crack cocaine trafficking cases. He was sentenced to serve four years in prison in 2010 in one case and three years of probation in a similar case in 2000. He also was sentenced to one year in prison in 2008 for two counts of domestic violence and one count of possessing a weapon as a felon.
MIDLAND CO., MI, 1/01/16: A 47-year-old man was taken to the emergency room early New Years Day after an accidental shooting, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office reports. Deputies were sent to a Mills Township home for the incident at 3:10 AM. There, they found the man has accidentally shot himself in a leg with a shotgun. The man was taken to the MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland Emergency Room for treatment. It was later learned the man had fired the shotgun near three other people, who were not hurt. A report listing a count of reckless discharge of a firearm is being sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.
SANDUSKY, OH, 1/01/16: The New Year's Day shooting death of Katelin Castile appears to be accidental, according to Sandusky police. “All the physical evidence that we have in hand indicates it was an accidental discharge (of the gun),” Detective Gary Wichman told the Register Monday afternoon. Police were called to Castile's home in the 900 block of W. Washington St. Jan. 1 at about 2:30 AM. Within about 90 minutes, her fiance, Jermane Kennedy, 26, had turned himself in at the Sandusky police station. In the days since, investigators have interviewed multiple witnesses, executed search warrants, examined evidence and received preliminary results from an autopsy of Castile's body. Thus far, all of the information appears to be pointing toward the same conclusion — that Kennedy accidentally released the trigger of his Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun that morning and caused the death of his longtime girlfriend. Wichman said the pair had been together since they were freshmen in high school. They had three kids, and two were in the apartment at the time their mother was shot. Kennedy was reportedly distraught when police spoke with him after the shooting. On Monday, he was arraigned on a charge of felonious assault and entered a plea of not guilty. Kennedy, Castile, and a group of friends went out downtown the night of Dec. 31 to celebrate New Year's. While out and about, Kennedy spoke with one of his friends, who now lives out of state, and the pair began discussing Kennedy's handgun. “Jermane wanted to show his friend his new apartment and also offered to show him his handgun, because (the friend) was considering purchasing one,” Wichman said. Kennedy, Castile, the out of state friend, and two women headed back to the couple's apartment after the bars closed. At that point, Kennedy's mother, who was babysitting for the evening, left the apartment and took one of the kids back to her home. An 8-year-old was left playing video games in another room and the remaining child was asleep in a crib. Shortly after his mother left, Kennedy went into the couple's bedroom and took his 9mm gun from a gun safe, located just a few feet from their bed, Wichman said. At that point, Castile, 26, was laying down on the mattress. “It appears from the evidence that he was trying to clear the gun but failed to drop the clip out before (doing so). (He then) pulled the slide back and ejected the live round. (But when) the slide then went forward, it loaded a new round from the clip (into) the gun,” Wichman said. Police believe Kennedy then released pressure on the trigger, which caused the gun to fire. Investigators think he may have been holding the weapon low in front of his body when it went off. An autopsy was performed on Castile's body Saturday morning at the Lucas County Coroner's Office and yielded information crucial to the investigation. It revealed the bullet struck Castile on the left side of the neck, traveled through a major artery and struck her spine before exiting out the back, Erie County Coroner Dr. Brian Baxter said. After exiting Castile, the bullet landed in a blanket near the foot of the bed, according to Wichman. This evidence, coupled with other information, all “substantiate an accidental discharge at approximately waist-level,” Wichman said. While executing search warrants, police also recovered a live round near the gun safe, further lending to this theory. Officials interviewed those in the home at the time of the shooting. They also spoke to Kennedy's mother. All involved said there were no problems between Kennedy and Castile that night. Investigators additionally reviewed area surveillance footage, and no signs of problems were spotted there either. “There was no domestic issue going on at the time. Everyone was in good spirits,” Wichman said. “They had a great time celebrating New Year's Eve, and there was even talk of them going to Taco Bell to get a bite to eat.” Events continued to unfold after Castile was shot. “Jermaine panicked,” Wichman said. “He threw the gun and the clip off the third floor balcony.” One of the women dialed 911 as well, sounding frantic. “What's your address? What's your address, Jermane?” the woman can be heard saying in a recording of the emergency call. She then speaks to the dispatcher directly — “My sister-in law, she's not breathing, I need an ambulance right away,” the woman said. As officers headed into the building, Kennedy headed out. He even pointed police upstairs, indicating that's where they were needed. “He left the area, he went walking. His mom was able to reach him on his cell phone, and he was beside himself with what just happened. He was clearly distraught and made comments that it was an accident,” Wichman said. An uncle eventually located Kennedy walking on West Monroe Street, talked with him a bit, then brought him to the police station. Kennedy arrived at the Sandusky police station at 4 AM. At 4:10 AM, Castile was pronounced dead at Firelands Regional Medical Center. “I let him know she didn't make it. He didn't know, he was very scared, and he exercised his rights for counsel,” Wichman said. Kennedy did tell police he tossed the gun from the balcony, and as a result, they were indeed later able to find it. But Kennedy was not questioned further, as he asked for an attorney. Officials charged Kennedy with felonious assault, and he was arraigned Monday morning at Sandusky Municipal Court. Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said other charges may be leveled in the coming weeks and days, either at his office's discretion, or as a result of a grand jury hearing. “There's a number of different charges that we can consider,” Baxter explained. “The highest level (of homicide charges) is murder, where someone purposely causes a death. Then there's reckless homicide, where (one) acts recklessly, but maybe not knowingly or purposely. Then you have negligence, which is a substantial lapse of due care. There's also manslaughter.” Baxter said the case has continued to evolve as investigators discover new information. “Right away, people asked why not charge (him) with murder. It seems as we get these facts, it may change our view on things,” Baxter said. The coroner is also waiting to make a final ruling on Castile's death until more details are confirmed. “In a medical setting...we can't decide what the intent of a person was. The cause (of death) was a gunshot wound to the neck. And how it occurred — she was shot by another person, as far as we know,” Dr. Brian Baxter said. He expects to make an official determination in the next handful of days. In the meantime, Kennedy remains at the Erie County jail without bond. According to municipal court personnel, he retained Matt Kishman as his attorney, but his next court date has not been set.
COLUMBUS, OH, 1/01/16: Two Northland residents reported their houses were damaged by apparent celebratory gunfire early on Jan. 1. A 36-year-old woman called police at 2:35 AM Jan. 1 to report someone had fired a bullet into herWaymont Road residence. She said the incident took place at 12:25 AM. The round was recovered inside the residence.
COLUMBUS, OH, 1/01/16: A Glenhaven Drive resident also reported that apparent celebratory gunfire damaged his house. In a report filed at 9 AM Jan. 1, the man said a .45-caliber round crashed through the roof sometime after 2 AM.
COLUMBUS, OH, 1/01/16: Although no injuries tied to celebratory gunfire were reported, a review of Columbus police reports from Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 turned up 10 involving what appeared to police to be random gunfire. Among the reports: A South Side man reported that a bullet smashed through the sunroof of his parked car while he was at church.
COLUMBUS, OH, 1/01/16: A South Linden resident reported that a bullet came through the east wall of her home, struck dishes and continued into an interior wall.
COLUMBUS, OH, 1/01/16: At a home on nearby Cleveland Avenue, a bullet struck a rear door.
PHOENIX, AZ, 1/01/16: Officials are investigating after a man says he was struck by a stray bullet in west Phoenix. Phoenix police said the bullet fell from the sky near 83rd Avenue and Indian School Road just before 3:30 AM on Friday. According to Phoenix police, a man was standing in his backyard when the bullet hit him. The man took himself to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Law enforcement agencies have reminded residents about Shannon’s Law. The law restricts shooting into the air. Phoenix police say they average 150 arrests per year for Shannon's Law violations. They ask citizens to stay alert and call 911 if they hear gunfire and can identify its origin. Shannon’s Law is named after a 14-year-old girl who was killed when a bullet fell from the sky on New Year's Eve. Violations are a Class 6 Felonies, and sentences can range from probation to several years in prison.
LAS VEGAS, NV, 1/01/16: A teen was struck by what may have been "celebratory gunfire" just after midnight Friday and taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Las Vegas police. The bullet came from outside the boy's east valley home, on the 2000 block of Raspberry Hill Road, which is just southeast of Charleston and Nellis boulevards, police said. Officers responded to the call at 12:04 AM and were still on the scene trying to determine from where the round was fired as of about 1:30 AM. No one else was injured, Metro spokeswoman Officer Laura Meltzer said.
ORLANDO, FL, 1/01/16: A nine-year-old girl was shot in the arm just after midnight, possibly the result of celebratory gunfire, Orlando police said. Officers responded to a church in the 800 block of South Kirkman Road after receiving reports of a shooting victim. The girl, who police have not identified, had just left church when she was hit in the right arm by the bullet, police said. She was treated at the scene by the Orlando Fire Department. No bullet was recovered at the scene, police said. Officers have no suspect information because the round "seemed to be from the voluminous amounts of gunfire" happening at the time. On Dec. 30, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said celebratory gunfire is illegal and dangerous.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, 1/01/16: Seventeen-year-old Amber Bartas is able to walk around less than 24 hours after being hit in the leg by a stray bullet on New Year’s Eve. With her leg still bandaged, she recalled what happened as she was watching fireworks outside her boyfriend’s St. Petersburg home. “I just heard gunshots all around, people shooting them off at 12 o’clock and I don’t know exactly where it came from,” said Bartas. Moments earlier, Bartas’ friends were talking about the gunfire they could hear off in the distance. “Wow, that would be crazy if one of us got hit by by one one of those. And right when we were talking about it, we heard a loud bang and we look over and she is holding her leg and she is saying, ‘Oh I am bleeding, I am bleeding,’ ” said David Garrett. The bullet grazed Bartas’ leg, but she still feels lucky. “If I was like standing a different way it could have hit my head or something like that but thankfully it didn’t, I am just glad I am okay,” said Bartas. While celebratory gunfire is dangerous, it has become all too common. In fact, St. Petersburg police made several arrests, though none were connected to Bartas’ case. “We did have several incidents last night where we responded to calls of gunfire and we did make several arrests of individuals that were apparently committing these acts,” said Mike Puetz with St. Petersburg police While Bartas recovers from her injuries, she has these words for others involved in celebratory gunfire. “It is a stupid thing to do, like innocent people minding their own business could get hit by a bullet, I just think it is stupid,” said the teenager.Because Bartas does not know where the shot was fired from that hit her, police may have a difficult time trying to track down the shooting suspect.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, 1/01/15: A St. Petersburg police cruiser was struck by a stray bullet Thursday night. SPPD officials say an officer was preparing to go on duty when he noticed his cruiser had a damaged windshield. The damage appears to be from a falling bullet. “These falling bullets are everywhere,” said SPPD spokesman Mike Puetz. “In this case, one landed in our own backyard.” The car was parked in the north parking lot of SPPD headquarters. No one was hurt.
MELBOURNE, FL, 1/01/16: There were also a number of calls about fireworks and the sound of gunfire as the clock moved closer to midnight, ushering in 2016. Police, however, were out in force eyeing traffic and answer calls as they came in. “We had a few things happen but nothing out of the ordinary for New Year’s Eve,” said Sgt. Trevor Shaffer of the Melbourne Police Department. “We had one guy unloading his Smith & Wesson 9 mm gun for the night accidentally shoot himself in the leg. His injuries were not life-threatening,” Shaffer said of the incident, which happened at Brittany Apartments in Melbourne’s beach side jurisdiction.
BRANDON, FL, 1/01/16: A woman was injured Friday by a ricocheting bullet after a probation officer shot at a dog during a probation check, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The probation officer was doing a check at a home in the 1300 block of Wallwood Drive in Brandon when the dog got out, according to law enforcement, and he opened fire. The woman’s husband told ABC Action News she was struck in the chest. He said she was receiving X-rays Friday night. She is the mother of the person the officer was checking on.
SAN ANTONIO, TX, 1/01/16: A man was hospitalized Friday morning after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Police said he was driving on San Pedro near Hildebrand with his girlfriend and was fiddling with a new gun he just bought from a friend - when it went off. He was taken to University Hospital and will be okay.
DALLAS, TX, 1/01/16: A shot fired inside a hotel room at the downtown Dallas Omni Hotel was the result of an accidental shooting, according to Dallas police. The shooting happened Friday night at the hotel on Lamar Street around 10:30. Police responded to a call about a shooting on the 23rd floor of the hotel. They found a victim with a gunshot wound in the torso lying in the hallway. The victim had been inside the hotel room with friends and somebody accidentally fired the shot, police said.
ALTUS, OK, 1/01/16: Altus police say a man died in an accidental shooting Friday afternoon. Police were called to a home on the 1200 block of West Wingfield at 12:38 PM Friday and found a 62-year-old man under the home’s carport. The man was taken to Jackson County Memorial Hospital and later pronounced dead. Investigators believe the man was trying to secure the family dog to a chain when the gun he had fell and discharged. He was shot in the upper right thigh. Family at the home told police the heard the gunshot, went outside and found the man lying on the ground. Foul play is not suspected at this time. His body was taken to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.
KENNER, LA, 1/01/16: A Kenner man firing a gun toward an empty lot in celebration of New Year's, had one of the bullets ricochet off of a metal pole and strike a woman who was getting out of a nearby car, according to police.The victim was taken to University Hospital, treated and released. Brandon Smith, 26, was arrested and booked with aggravated battery, negligent injury and illegal discharge of a firearm. Police said they responded to a call of a woman shot and learned that Smith had been standing on the second floor of a balcony at his apartment complex and that he fired several shots into an empty lot. "As a result of his negligent behavior, one of the rounds ricocheted off a metal pole and struck a 40-year-old woman in the abdominal area as she exited a vehicle," said a police spokesman. Kenner Police said they obtained a search warrant and found a .38 caliber handgun hidden in a vent inside of the apartment where Smith was staying. Police said Smith admitted to firing the gun in celebration.
STOCKTON, CA, 1/01/16: A Stockton police officer suffered a minor injury at midnight when celebratory New Year's Eve gunfire hit his vehicle and then him. Travis Weber had just finished his shift and was unloading that vehicle at the department in downtown Stockton. "I heard a loud pop and then felt a sting to my right leg. The loud pop was it (bullet) hitting the vehicle and then ricocheting toward me," Weber said. Stockton police warn the public every year on the dangers of shooting guns into the air. Homes in both north and south Stockton were also hit just after midnight. So was a second Stockton police vehicle. No other people were injured. "It's why they tell people not to fire in the air, the prime reason. It was me this time, but it could have been a child or a family outside celebrating," Weber said. The officer said the noise from the car being hit was so loud, he thought for a moment his gun might have accidentally discharged. "I quickly reached down, and it was still locked in there," said Weber. Weber said the bullet left a mark about the size of a quarter on his thigh. He was back on the streets 12 hours later. "I still have a job to do," he said.
SACRAMENTO, CA, 1/01/16: It’s the tragic physics of celebratory gunfire: bullets fired up must come down. “It sounds like a war zone out here. It really does,” said Art Campos, a concerned Meadowview resident. And for a family living in the Meadowview neighborhood of Sacramento, it came dangerously close their children. They’re calling on gun owners to act responsibly while ringing in the New Year. “We were just sitting down watching YouTube videos and I was telling the girls it was January 1. And then it just went right through,” said Andrea Jimenez. The ball had just dropped when the Jimenez family heard a sound they will never forget. “We just heard the bullet go right through the ceiling,” she said. In a panic, Jimenez jumped up only to find the bullet inches away from the couch where she and her three young children were sitting. “It just landed on the floor and I picked it up and saw how big it was and I was like, wow!” she said. While the near miss left her daughters searching for security, Campos says he made sure to stay inside, away from his windows. “New Year’s Eve, I don’t even like to come outside. I pretty much just stay inside. It’s just too dangerous out here,” said Campos. Police recovered the bullet and took pictures of the damage left behind. “The officer told us that if it would have hit one of us it would have just stung, but nothing major would have happened,” said Jimenez. But there is no doubt this new year in their new home is one to remember for all the wrong reasons. “They just need to be careful and just know that there’s kids out there. You know, if you have a gun, keep it to yourself. Don’t go out there and shoot it,” said Jimenez. It’s unclear if any other homes were hit by gunfire, but the Jimenez family is encouraging their neighbors to do a thorough check of their homes for any damage.
FRESNO, CA, 1/01/16: On New Year's Eve in Fresno there were more than 300 police calls for gunshots. One of the bullets fired into the sky came crashing down near a Tower District home. "I saw the gold, but then I picked it up and realized it was a casing, or a bullet, said Susan, a woman who lives near Yale and Wilson in Fresno. Susan, asked that we protect her identity on camera, but talked about her discovery and the overnight gunfire that lasted for hours. "It was really prevalent. Everybody heard it, but to find the bullet out front, it makes you scared," said Susan. In 2014, a New Year's Eve bullet busted through a Fresno home and landed on a young man's bed. The result could've been deadly. Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier says this has to stop. "To some folks it seems like fun, but what if that bullet came down and struck a sleeping child," said Olivier. Police did catch up to one man as his gun fire rang out, to ring in the new year. Charging him with reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of an assault rifle. "I'm glad they were able to make one arrest, but for that one person who was arrested there are hundreds if not thousands of people just like him that thought it was ok to do this," said Olivier. Olivier hopes police can use data from their shot spotter technology to take on the gunfire in the future. "I would be very interested in seeing what the police come up with in terms of where these shots are coming from and where they are concentrated, so that we can schedule more officers to be in those areas, or do public outreach," said Olivier.
CALIMESA, CA, 1/01/16: A local family is mourning the loss of their beloved horse, Lucky, after a stray bullet fatally wounded the animal during New Year celebrations. Jessee Goss of Calimesa was the 30-year-old horse’s owner. “My best friend — the animal that literally protected me from abusive adults, bullies and who showed me what real love is — is dead because some jerk fired a gun in city limits against the law. He killed a perfectly healthy and beloved horse,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Not only has Lucky been ripped from the world prematurely and cruelly, the law breakers who did it don’t know how much they have hurt me, my mother, my children and the many others who Lucky positively impacted. I am angry beyond words and shattered to pieces.” Goss’ mother, Danette Depew, discovered Lucky dead in his Mira Loma stall on Friday. Depew had returned from a trip to a local amusement park when she went to check on the animal. The horse was alive before she left for the park, Depew said Sunday by phone. “We wanted to spread the word because the people who shot their gun in the air and killed my horse since I was 4 and literally grew up with, has no idea that (they) killed him,” Goss said. “My mom could have been standing outside the stall or me and my children... It could have been any of us. People do not realize that shooting in the air can have consequences.”
PITTSBURGH, PA, 1/01/16: A man was arrested following an incident during Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration Thursday night. According to Pittsburgh Public Information Officer Sonya Toler, a man was arrested following a report that a gun was fired inside of a parking garage at 9th Avenue and Penn Avenue. Police arrested 38-year-old David Hall for firing a shot over a parking space. The criminal complaint said Hall fired a shot into the floor in the direction of two women with whom he was having an argument. Hall told police his gun accidentally discharged into the floor when he tried to pull it out from the waistband of his pants. No one was injured.
SNELLVILLE, GA, 1/01/16: A Snellville family is grateful no one was hurt after a bullet pierces through their home just after midnight on New Years. Adrian Hayes was in the living room with his three-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son when he heard a noise. "We heard a sound almost like glass breaking and was not sure what it was," said Adrian. His wife was upstairs and also heard the same noise. "I heard lots of fireworks, so I came to the window just to see if I could see," said Cindy Hayes. "Saw nothing, so I closed the blinds and I heard a noise and I thought it was glass breaking, but I thought the blinds had knocked something over." About an hour later Adrian said he walked into their bathroom and found a bullet laying in his shower. "I opened my shower and stepped in and immediately saw the fragments of tile there," said Adrian. "The bullet hole entered right at the base of my shower." The Hayes family believes it was celebratory gunfire. "They could have killed my kids," said Cindy. In the eight years Adrian has been living in his Snellville home, he tells FOX 5's Nathalie Pozo that he hears gunfire on New Years Eve, every year. "It has always been a fear of ours that a bullet may come through the house and sure enough it happened this year," said Adrian. Gwinnett County Police said people who participate in celebratory gunfire could be charged with several different charges including, reckless conduct, criminal damage to property or discharging a firearm near a public roadway. The Hayes family hopes to raise awareness. "I have small children and I am sure my neighbors value their families lives and when you are reckless like that, you can take someone's life, take someone's loved one away from them," said Adrian. "Sure, they need to be prosecuted." Gwinnett County Police said the criminal investigations division will handle the case and at this time, they do not have any suspects.
LAGRANGE, GA, 1/01/16: A nurse at Pathways Second Seasons at 124 Gordon Commercial Drive reported just after midnight Friday that what initially sounded like fireworks was apparently gunfire after a bullet came through the roof and struck the floor. About the same time, another officer was on Troup Street responding to the same call when he heard gunfire right outside his car. He pulled into the driveway of the home where the gunshots came from and saw several people on the porch immediately go inside. The officer spoke with an occupant of the home, who admitted shooting the gun, but said she had not shot into the air. She said she was unaware firing a gun in the city was illegal. The officer said he couldn’t determine if the gunfire was related to the bullet that struck the business.
BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, MI, 1/01/16: A stray bullet caused about $5,000 damage to the roof and bathroom ceiling in a manufactured home in the Inverness Mobile Home Community shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. One of the family members saw some ceiling insulation on the floor in the bathroom around 12:30 AM. But a few hours later, one of the residents noticed the rest of the damage - which included a hole in the roof - and called deputies. A copper-colored bullet also was found in the bathroom. The residents told officers they heard what they thought were fireworks in the area around midnight.
HOLLY TOWNSHIP, MI, 1/01/16: On January 1, 2016 at approximately 1:30 AM, troopers were dispatched to the Genesys Health Park in reference to an accidental shooting. Further investigation revealed that a 61 year old male from Holly Township, was given a 32cal Walter [sic] PPK 1945 Semi Auto and he thought was empty. He pulled back the slide and the gun went off. The bullet went through the palm of his hand and out on the back side of his hand. He stated he didn’t believe it was loaded because his mother had it and before that his father. His wife was upstairs in bed when she heard the shot go off. She immediately drove him to the hospital. The victim was treated and released.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, 1/01/16: Albuquerque police and the community say they need the New Year’s Eve tradition of firing off guns at midnight to stop. You never know where those bullets will land. For some early Friday morning, they landed too close for comfort. "It could have just as well been the kid’s bedroom,” said Toby Arnett, who rushed outside just after midnight on New Year's Eve to see his car had been the target of a stray bullet. "When I popped my hood, you could actually hear the bullet still rattling around inside the hood,” he said. In another Albuquerque neighborhood, a bullet barely missed Jeremy Tafoya himself. "I mean just feet away from where I was laying,” he said. He says things happened fast. "It came in through the ceiling, hit the bed, and ricocheted over to the filing cabinet,” he said. “And once it had hit the filing cabinet, it made a really loud sound." Tafoya and his wife have five children and two dogs - all sleeping not too far from where the bullet entered their home. "It's a scary thing. It could have easily come into one of their bedrooms. It could have struck someone,” he said. According to the Albuquerque Police Department, these two families were not the only ones in danger during New Year's celebrations. "We had numerous shots fired calls at midnight. I mean so many that officers couldn't respond to," says Simon Drobik, APD spokesperson. Now both Arnett and Tafoya hope the community thinks twice before continuing to take part in such a dangerous tradition. "Be aware that whatever goes up is going to come down and there's innocent lives that can be taken from this," says Arnett. "It causes financial damage, but it could have caused fatality with somebody and that's the main concern,” Tafoya added.
LEAVENWORTH, KS, 1/01/16: Leavenworth authorities arrested a man after he allegedly fired a shot that passed through the wall of his residence into a neighboring home, a police spokesman said. The incident was reported at 2:42 AM Friday in the 1900 block of Montezuma Street. Residents reported that a bullet had passed through the wall of their home. No injuries were reported. Two adults and children were in the house at the time, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department. Officers investigated the incident and came to the conclusion the bullet came through a wall from a neighboring house. A 29-year-old man who lives at the neighboring residence reportedly told police he had fired the shot after being threatened by somebody with a knife. But Nicodemus said witnesses provided a different version of what happened. Nicodemus said police believe the shot was fired because of the alleged mishandling of a firearm. The suspect also may have been intoxicated at the time. The suspect was arrested for an allegation of unlawful discharging of a firearm into an occupied dwelling.
KANSAS CITY, MO, 1/01/16: Celebrating the new year is all in good fun, until someone gets hurt or there's property damage. One metro woman, who lives near 29th and Paseo, said celebratory gunfire damaged her car, and she says she's thankful to be alive. "It sounded like a war zone," Jeanene Dunn said. On January 1st, just after the clock struck midnight, Dunn said she heard multiple gun shots and fireworks go off outside her home. "There were lots of pow, pow, pow, boom," Dunn added. People were celebrating the new year, and Dunn said the noise lasted at least 30 minutes. "I was pretty freaked out. My son was sitting in the living room and I just told him to turn off all the lights, and to move away from the windows," Dunn said. "We just didn't want anything to come through the windows to hurt us." Dunn said the next morning she went to run an errand and couldn't see out her car's back window. "I thought my rear window was just foggy, and when I got out of the car to scrape it off, I noticed that there was a small hole and that the whole thing was shattered," Dunn said, who then called police. "He just said he'd been running from call to call taking reports on property damage," Dunn explained. Dunn said the officer told her the calls were all from celebratory gunfire. "First I got mad. I thought, who does this?" Dunn exclaimed. According to Kansas City, Missouri police, from 7 PM on Dec. 31 to 7 AM on Jan. 1, dispatch had around 352 sound of shots calls. "If you want to exercise your Second Amendment right and shoot your gun, at least go to the gun range. Don't fire your gun, even if it's in the air, because the old saying is true: what goes up must come down," Dunn said. "This time it was a car, but another time it could be a person." Dunn said she hopes by sharing her story, revelers will be more careful in the future, no matter what they're celebrating. Firing off a gun or fireworks is illegal within the city limits of Kansas City and many other surrounding communities.
EL DORADO, AR, 1/01/16: Celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve is believed to be the cause of damage to two El Dorado residents property. A man tending to his parent’s home on New Year’s Day in the 1000 block of Cypress Drive discovered a hole in the ceiling of the master bedroom. He was able to locate a bullet, which appeared to be from a high-powered rifle, on the floor next to the bed, according to an El Dorado police report.
EL DORADO, AR, 1/01/16: A woman discovered a bullet hole in her car New Year’s morning in the 100 block of Hargett Drive. According to the police report, when exiting her residence, she noticed a bullet hole in the hood of her car with the spent round still lodged inside.
HARTFORD, CT, 1/01/16: A 27-year-old local man is facing charges, including criminal possession of a firearm, after police say he accidentally shot himself in the hand while attempting to illegally purchase a firearm earlier this year. Martin Maldonado checked himself into Hartford Hospital on the morning of Jan. 1 suffering from a gunshot wound to his hand, police said. Police were notified and Maldonado told an officer that he shot himself while trying to purchase a firearm somewhere on Park Street while intoxicated around 1 AM that morning. Police said that Maldonado was vague when asked about the location of the incident, who offered to sell it to him or where the gun was at that point. Maldonado was charged on Jan. 27 with possession of a pistol without a permit, criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
YORKTOWN, VA, 1/01/16: Police are currently investigating an accidental shooting that occurred in the 800 block of Piccadilly Loop near the George Washington Square Shopping Center Friday afternoon. The victim was taken to the hospital and is currently being treated for injuries. It is unknown if they were life-threatening. Police say that the shooting is considered accidental, but it is still currently under investigation.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, 1/01/16: It’s become a ritual for some to fire their guns at the stroke of midnight to ring in New Year’s Day, but one family says owners of firearms need to think before they shoot. Cameron and Melissa Barnhill, who live in the Lawson Forrest neighborhood, say around 12:05 AM Friday, someone fired a shot that caused damage in their backyard. The glass on their table was shattered by a stray bullet. “There’s a more responsible and mature way to have fun than shooting a gun in the air,” said Melissa. “People need to be aware and take responsibility with their own firearms, when and where to shoot them, how to shoot them,” said Cameron. The family says the damage is minor and can be easily fixed, but they know it could have ended differently. The two want gun owners to be more responsible with their weapons. “If that was Christmas Eve our family was sitting there at that table,” said Melissa. “That would have been a life, not a table.”
HENRICO CO., VA, 1/01/16: The sound of gunfire rang out in some parts of Central Virginia early Friday morning as people celebrated the start of 2016. While no one may have been specifically targeted, some of those stray bullets found their mark on cars and houses. There were no reports of injuries, but that does not mean there were not close calls. Charles Hester said he heard several rounds of celebratory gunfire coming from a neighborhood near his home on Scotch Pine Road in eastern Henrico. “It didn’t sound like it was in this neighborhood. It sounded like his was a good ways away,” Hester said. “I almost didn’t go out because I understand the physics of bullets going up and coming back down.” However, what Hester did not know was that a stray bullet hit a car sitting in his neighbor’s driveway just down the block. Police said it looks like the round that hit the car came straight down out of the sky. “I was thinking about the little boy, I think it was Brandermill that got hit,” Hester said. Celebratory gunfire reports remind many in Central Virginia of Brendon Mackey, the six-year-old boy hit and killed by a stray bullet while at a fireworks show on July 4, 2013. Police still have not idea where that fatal shot originated. Since his death, Virginia has stiffened the penalties for celebratory gunfire in hopes of limiting it in the future. A check of Henrico County Police records from Dec. 31 from 11 PM to Jan. 1 at 1 AM show 45 calls for either weapons violations or shootings. However, many of those calls went without a report or the officer was unable to locate the situation. Henrico police post their calls for service online. We have not yet been able to check on other jurisdictions since that data was not readily available. Hester said he understands it can be hard for police to track down exactly who pulled the trigger if they do not know where a shot originated. That is why Hester is calling on those with the guns to make a change. “I’m hopeful that folks kind of took heed to that in terms of not shooting in the air,” he said. “I think you can celebrate in other ways.” A local police source told WTVR CBS 6 it seems like the calls for celebratory gunfire decreased this year overall. The source credits Brendon’s law for the reduction.
SUFFOLK, VA, 1/02/16: Suffolk police say a man on a hunting trip was accidentally shot by another hunter Saturday morning. The man was shot in the 2600 block of Jackson Road, which is wooded and rural, according to a statement from Timothy Kelley, spokesman for the city of Suffolk. Suffolk police responded to the scene at 9:40 AM and found a man, whose exact age wasn’t being released, with “minor gunshot injuries,” Kelley said. He was treated and released from Sentara Obici Hospital. A preliminary investigation found that another hunter who was trying to shoot a deer accidentally struck the man, Kelley said. Police do not expect to file charges, and the shooting appears accidental, Kelley said. The incident is still under investigation by police and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Kelley said that there was no additional information available.
RICHMOND CO., VA, 1/02/16: A Mechanicsville man was killed in a hunting accident in Richmond County over the weekend. According to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 60-year-old Keith Williams was shot in the torso and pelvic area around 3:00 PM on Saturday. Williams was airlifted to VCU Medical Center, where he later died. Officials say that Williams was with an organized hunting party of about 45 to 50 people. The hunters were driving dogs and Williams was at the front of the drive. When the shooter saw movement, he believed it be game, and discharged one round of buckshot from a 12-gauge shotgun. Both the victim and the shooter were wearing blaze orange. The shooter, 45-year-old Wavely Veney was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, hunting without the proper licenses, violation of a protective order, reckless handling of a firearm and attempting to take deer unlawfully. Veney is currently being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail without bond.
MOBILE, AL, 1/02/16: An 18-year-old male received a life-threatening gunshot wound to his head Saturday afternoon at South Haven Apartments, at 3577 Dauphin Island Parkway in Mobile, according to authorities. A Mobile Police Department spokeswoman told FOX10 News the incident is being investigated as an accidental shooting. It was not clear right away whether the gunshot wound was self-inflicted or someone else is responsible. MORE: [O]fficers found 18-year old Kaylieb Gaston suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Gaston was transported to a local hospital where he was initially listed in critical condition. On Monday — two days after the shooting — Gaston died from the wounds he sustained, and police have since charged a 14-year-old male juvenile in connection to the incident. Because the shooter was a minor, his name has not yet been released, and police have yet to release any more details about the circumstance that led to the accident.
HUNTSVILLE, AL, 1/02/16: Huntsville police investigators say that a 19-year-old man found shot to death in a northwest Huntsville home on Saturday accidentally shot himself. Sgt. Stacy Bates, a Huntsville Police Department spokesman, said the preliminary investigation indicates an accidental shooting, and that evidence thus far is pointing to the man shooting himself. Because of those findings, the department is not releasing his name. The investigation is ongoing, however. Police officers were called to the house, located in the 5000 block of Kyle Lane, around 12:30 PM Saturday after receiving a 911 call from a friend who found the man with a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital, where he died a short time later.
PATERSON, NJ, 1/02/16: A teen who told police he had been shot by an assailant who fled in a car turned out to have shot himself by accident, authorities said. Paterson Police responded to the reported shooting Saturday at 9:30 PM on Bergen Street in the 1st Ward. Officers found the 16-year-old in a home with a gunshot wound to the upper leg, police said. The teen said he was walking home near East Main and Bergen streets when a man got out of a Dodge Charger, shot him and drove off. Detectives were suspicious of the story. When they investigated, they determined the teen had shot himself, police said. Detectives Christopher Ravallese and Francisco Brito have recovered the weapon they believe he used, police said. It will be submitted to a ballistics laboratory for analysis. The teen will be charged with weapons offenses. He was being held Sunday at a detention center in Essex County. "Anyone involved with illegal firearms will be charged accordingly," Police Director Jerry Speziale said. "The Paterson Police Department takes this seriously and will not be fooled by anyone."
TRENTON, NJ, 1/02/16: A Trenton man hired to do roofing work shot himself in the hand on the job site, police said. The 50-year-old man was hired to do roof and chimney work on a house on the 1600 block of South Clinton avenue on Saturday when he climbed to a rear porch and found a loaded handgun, Lt. Stephen Varn said. The man picked up the gun and accidentally pulled the trigger, hitting himself in the left index finger, Varn said. The man was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton with a minor injury, Varn said. The Shooting Response team determined the shooting was accidental, Varn said.
OCEANSIDE, CA, 1/02/16: A woman who originally told officers she was shot by an unknown assailant later admitted her boyfriend accidentally shot her while showing her a gun in her apartment Saturday night, Oceanside police said. The woman called 911 and said she’d been standing in front of her apartment building on Edgehill Lane near Oceanside Boulevard when she was shot in the leg about 9:30 PM, Oceanside police Lt. Taurino Valdovinos said. But investigating officers soon started to question her story, the lieutenant said. They searched her apartment and found evidence that the shooting had taken place inside. The victim ultimately told officers that her boyfriend was showing her a gun when he accidentally shot her, Valdovinos said. She was taken to a hospital with an injury that wasn’t life-threatening.
WORTHINGTON, KY, 1/02/16: One man is in jail and a family is shaken up after an accidental bullet went through a window and into the family's home next door, almost hitting their young kids inside. Around 4:30 Saturday morning, police responded to a shots fired call on Kentucky Avenue. When they arrived, Jason Smith told police he had been cleaning his gun and it accidentally discharged. The bullet went through the window and into the neighbors' home, just inches from where two young boys were sitting inside. "That I might have lost one of them or something, it scares me," homeowner Michael Slone said. Slone and his wife were sleeping when the gunshot woke them. He said his initial reaction was to check on his younger son with epilepsy when he found a bullet hole through his living room window. "To put someone's life at risk, that's the worst thing you can do," Slone said. Smith was arrested and is currently being held at Greenup County Jail. He faces three felony charges: two for wanton endangerment and one for criminal mischief. He is expected to appear in court on Monday. The Slones are distressed at the reality of a bullet narrowly missing their sons, but emphasized the fact they have no ill feelings toward Smith. "I just hope this is a wake up call for him," Linda Slone said.
NASHUA, IA, 1/02/16: Authorities have identified a Nashua man found dead after being shot. The Des Moines Register reports that 56-year-old Karl Phillip White was shot in his Nashua home around 4:30 PM Saturday. Autopsy results have determined White's official cause of death was a gunshot wound. No criminal charges have been filed in the case. The person who fired the weapon has been identified by authorities but hasn't been publicly named. A preliminary investigation indicates it may have been an accidental discharge by another person, but the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is still looking into the case.
BAKER, LA, 1/02/16: A Baker man was arrested Thursday after he accidentally shot himself with a gun authorities identified as stolen earlier in the day. Jeron Jervell Brooks, 18, is accused of stealing an $800 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol Saturday from a man who parked his 2010 GMC pickup truck at 7321 Juno Drive around 1 AM and left it unlocked, an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office report says. The same deputy who investigated the truck burglary responded to an accidental shooting at around 10:30 AM at 816 Kennon Drive, a block away from where the pistol had been stolen and found Brooks, who told investigators he accidentally shot himself in the hand when he was trying to unload the gun, the report says. Brooks told the deputy he found the gun in the woods, but the detective noticed the gun was clean and in good working condition, the report says. The deputy confiscated the gun and discovered that its serial number matched the one stolen from the pickup truck, according to the report. Brooks, who was treated and released from the hospital, was arrested at home Thursday morning. Brooks changed his story and told deputies he had gotten the gun from a younger man in the neighborhood at around 10 PM Friday, the report says. The victim told deputies, however, that he had not parked his truck on Juno Drive until 1 AM Saturday, the report says. Brooks, 816 Kennon Drive, Baker, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of illegal use of a weapon, theft of a firearm and automobile burglary over $200.