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One Week of Gun Deaths in America


May 17, 2017
David Waldman / Daily Kos & GunFAIL

An average week in gun-happy America: five law enforcement officers were involved in gun accidents, three people accidentally shot family members, three people accidentally shot themselves but lied to the cops about it, three people accidentally fired guns they were cleaning or clearing, two people accidentally fired into their neighbors' homes, and two people were accidentally shot to death at their own birthday parties.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/13/1643709/-Come-on-kids-Come-with-grandpa-to-the-range-to-learn-about-gun-safety-Oh-no-GunFAIL-CCXXXVII

Come On, Kids! Come with Grandpa to the
Range to Learn about Gun Safety. Oh No!

David Waldman / Daily Kos & GunFAIL

(May 13, 2017) -- Well, looks like the week of March 12-18 was a pretty rough one. Sixteen people accidentally shot themselves, fifteen kids were accidentally shot, and there were eleven accidental gun fatalities.

In addition, there were five law enforcement officers involved in gun accidents, three people who accidentally shot family members, three people who accidentally shot themselves but lied to the cops about it, three people who accidentally fired guns they were cleaning or clearing, two people who accidentally fired into their neighbors' homes, and -- oddly enough -- two people accidentally shot to death at their own birthday parties.

Other unusual GunFAILs this week include another "I keep a gun under my pillow for safety, but you'll never guess what happened . . ." situation. Only you can, of course, guess what happened. "Luckily," he only shot himself in the hand.

The second situation I feel compelled to call out is the sort of thing that's actually used by gun rights advocates to bolster their case for the wider application of gun-carrying rights.

Often during the debates over campus carry laws and other, similar measures allowing gun owners to carry in more places, the question arises whether gun carriers ought to be required to unload their weapons, or be prohibited (in the case of semi-automatic weapons) from carrying them with a round in the chamber.

And here, gun rights advocates correctly point out that requiring gun owners to transition their weapons from one state of readiness to another creates a new opportunity to manipulate the weapon, and therefore to accidentally discharge it.

Now, I didn't say it was a rock solid argument, because of course it requires the admission that whenever gun carriers handle their weapons, there's an increased chance of accidental discharge.

But it's an argument worth keeping in mind, because gun carriers keep proving it correct, as one man did in Lincoln, NE, when he encountered a posted notice at the Nebraska Outdoor Education Center declaring that all guns carried into the facility must be unloaded. What is Nebraska Outdoor Education Center? Well, it's a shooting range. Plus some other stuff. Like education about where else you can go to shoot. And, to be fair, fish.

So, why does the staff of a shooting range (like the staff of almost all gun shows) require that all guns entering the premises be unloaded? Well, there are several pretty good reasons, but we needn't go into them right now.

Suffice to say that law-abiding gun owners who have come to the range to practice know the protocol, or quickly become aware of it, as this gentleman did. Anyway, it was -- just as gun rights advocates warned -- in the process of putting his gun in compliance with the regulation that this 63-year-old man accidentally shot himself (and not, luckily, his three grandchildren he'd brought with him) in the leg. Just goes to show you, as the gun rights advocates say, that the more often gun carriers handle their weapons, the more likely an accident becomes. (Hey, wait a minute!)

Well, never mind that now. Let's take a look at the full week in GunFAIL, which continues below.

1. PITTSBURGH, PA, 3/12/17: Yasha Ross had her whole life ahead of her. Her babysitter called the 3-year-old lovable and passionate. That all ended Sunday afternoon when she got her hands on a gun inside a house in Mt. Washington.

"It appears that she got possession of a weapon that was in the house and shot herself in the upper chest," Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said. Zappala indicated that the gun involved was in the possession of a man named Paul Parrish. It was his home where the child was killed. The toddler and her mother, who live in Moon Township, had been visiting Parrish.

"Parrish has a history of violence, he is a felon not to possess a handgun. That was his handgun. A warrant was issued for him yesterday and we are looking for him right now," Zappala said. U.S. Marshals are assisting Pittsburgh Police in finding Parrish and the federal government may file charges as well.

"As a felon not to possess and a child loses her life because he does indeed possess, there is principal here that would make it appropriate to prosecute him for the homicide. It would be a degree of manslaughter," Zappala said.

One other person could be charged in this case. According to Zappala, a woman purchased that gun for Parrish. That is being investigated as a "straw purchase," wherein someone buys a firearm and lies about who ultimately will possess the weapon. That's a federal offense.

2. AUSTIN, TX, 3/12/17: Deputies have determined the shooting of a 15-year-old boy on Sunday was accidental. The Travis County Sheriff's Office was called to Hatton Hill Lane, near State Highway 130 and Webberville Road, at around 5:50 PM. They found the teenager shot in the abdomen and medics took him to University Medical Center Brackenridge in critical condition.

Investigators determined the boy and another teenager were handling the gun and accidentally fired the weapon. Deputies say the 15 year old is in good condition at the hospital. While no charges have been filed, deputies say it is possible charges may be brought at a later date.

3. ORANGE, TX, 3/13/17: The man who fatally shot his wife at their Orange home Monday evening expressed remorse today calling the incident a "freak accident." "I pretty much took my kid's mother from them and I have to live with that for the rest of my life," said Robert Hand.

52 year-old Robert Hand describes 24 year-old Megan Smith as his common law wife. He said the gun was a gift to Smith for her to protect herself while he was gone at work. He said he never expected the weapon to take away the person he cared about the most. "I wish it was me instead of her, I would give up my life so she could stay with my babies," said Hand.

The couple has been together for 7 years. They have two kids together, 3 year-old Rylan and 2 year-old Skyla who have no idea what happened. "They ask me every day where she's at, I don't know what to tell them," said Hand. "They are so young." Hand said he did not pull the trigger on the gun. He explains he picked up the handgun to make sure it was not loaded before they left their home. He said the gun suddenly discharged and a bullet hit his wife in the back.

"She was sitting on the bed and she just fell back and I stayed with her," said Hand. "I held on to her and tried to keep her alert, I didn't know what else to do" said Hand. City of Orange Police officers responded to a home at the 500 block of Main Street at about 5:48 PM according to the release.

Police do not believe the shooting was the result of a domestic disturbance or done out of anger but may have been accidental and done without intent to harm according to Captain Robert Enmon of the Orange Police Department. Captain Enmon said Smith was shot with a small caliber handgun. He said police have spoken to several witnesses who were also inside the home at the time.

Guns are not toys and one should always treat a gun as if it were loaded Captain Enmon told 12News saying "never pull a trigger on something you do not want to destroy." The couple's two and three year-old children were home at the time of the shooting but Hand said they were in a different room.

Hand said this is a mistake he will never forget. "It was a horrible accident that took the most beautiful person I ever met in my life," said Hand. Police have not made any arrests at this time and child protective services is involved.

4. MURFREESBORO, TN, 3/13/17: The man told police that the gun he "always" sleeps with accidentally fired, according to a Monday (3/13/17) Murfreesboro Police Report. Evidently, the accidental shooting occurred on Lascassas Pike at Gateway Apartments.

The 26-year-old man reported that while he was asleep he moved and hit the gun causing it to discharge. The man did not state anything else other than it shot him in his left hand when it discharged. Murfreesboro Police confiscated the revolver and the ammunition. The accidental shooter was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville with non life threatening injuries.

5. BATON ROUGE, LA, 3/13/17: The man investigators say is responsible for the tragic ending of a birthday celebration has been booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison to face murder charges in the death of a 16-year-old boy. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Darius Plummer, 16, of Baton Rouge.

Louisiana State Police identified the suspect as Octavio Bringas, 49. He is charged with second-degree murder. "I can't believe it; I can't believe it," said Derrick Ambrose, the victim's cousin. "I'm trying to grasp it right now." Ambrose added that Plummer left his home Monday morning to go to a friend's house.

Investigators reported Plummer lived on North Harrells Ferry Road near South Sherwood Forrest Boulevard and I-12. "His friend picked him up to go over there to celebrate and next thing you know, he's on the floor," Ambrose said. Deputies said the shooting happened at Bringas' apartment complex on Southpark Drive near Airline Highway Service Road on Monday just before 1 PM.

They said Plummer was found shot in the head and was rushed to the hospital, where he died. "Our detectives began working very quickly to interview those that were here at the apartment complex and they developed the suspect," said Casey Rayborn Hicks, spokeswoman for EBRSO. He said that he was "not coming back and would not talk to police," Bringas allegedly told a relative.

The probable cause report notes that Bringas is an "undocumented person living in the United States." The Louisiana State Police Fugitive Apprehension Task Force captured Bringas along I-10 in Lake Charles less than three hours after the shooting. He was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center, state police said.

Bringas is believed to be the father of the friend Plummer was visiting. Bringas told detectives he was playing with a gun when he mistakenly fired it. It's not an easy pill for the Plummer family to swallow. "Why would a grown man be playing with a gun around a kid anyway? Why? For what?" Ambrose asked.

Now, relatives want more answers and justice for a young man killed on his birthday. "I've been knowing him since he was a little baby. He's an outgoing kid, always clowning, joking around, goofing off every now and then. And to hear this out the blue, it's shocking," Ambrose explained.

6. LANSING, MI, 3/13/17: A 16-year-old Lansing boy is recovering after police said he accidentally shot himself in the face Monday. Police were called at 8:22 PM to an area hospital when the boy showed up with the wound, Lansing Police Public Information Director Robert Merritt said.

The teen originally said he was shot by someone else while walking in the 900 block of North Walnut Street. However, "police interviews uncovered inconsistencies in the victim's statement," Merritt said, and the boy ultimately admitted he had accidentally shot himself with a handgun inside a residence.

7. LAKE VILLA, IL, 3/13/17: A 20-year-old Round Lake Park man died early Tuesday during a celebration of his birthday after apparently being accidentally shot in the head by a friend, according to Lake County Sheriff's Office officials. David J. Graham was brought to the Northwestern Medicine Grayslake Outpatient Center on East Belvidere Road at approximately 12:45 AM with a gunshot wound to the head, according to sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Covelli.

Covelli said Graham died shortly after arrival at the facility. Lake County Coroner Doctor Howard Cooper determined Graham's death was caused by the gunshot wound. A preliminary investigation determined that Graham, along with four other adults, were celebrating Graham's birthday while driving in a vehicle earlier Monday evening, Covelli said.

Graham was the driver of the vehicle and pulled over in the area of west Monaville Road and west Old Monaville Road in unincorporated Lake Villa, according to the sheriff's office. Covelli said that Graham, along with Joey Gonzalez, 19, of, Round Lake, exited the vehicle and began firing a shotgun into the air.

After firing the shotgun, the two re-entered the vehicle and Graham began driving, according to Covelli, who said that Gonzalez was sitting in the back seat at the time holding the shotgun when it discharged inside the vehicle, shooting Graham in the head.

Gonzalez then moved Graham out of the driver's seat and drove him to the outpatient center for emergency treatment. "It does appear that it was not an intentional act," Covelli said. Nonetheless, Gonzalez faces several felony charges stemming from the shooting and a previous incident.

As a result of the shooting, Gonzalez was charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon involving possession of a sawed off shotgun, and another count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon because he did not possess an FOID card, according to Covelli. Covelli said the two other people present during the incident are considered witnesses.

Gonzalez was also charged with residential burglary, after police say he was found to be involved in a burglary that occurred in Ingleside last October. Covelli said Gonzalez was a person of interest in the burglary and additional facts were developed during the death investigation "indicating his involvement."

The shooting investigation was conducted by sheriff's detectives in conjunction with investigators from the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. Gonzalez was in custody of the Lake County Jail Tuesday afternoon after his bail was set at $300,000 in bond court. He is next scheduled to appear in court March 17.

8. CENTRAL ISLIP, NY, 3/13/17: A Suffolk Police officer accidentally shot himself in the hand in Central Islip on Monday night, police confirmed. The officer accidentally discharged his weapon and was struck in the hand at about 8:45 PM. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery. His injuries were non-life threatening, police say. No other injuries were reported.

9. ALBANY, OR, 3/13/17: A .45-caliber handgun reported stolen in December turned up Monday when an Albany woman shot a man in the foot while she was showing it to him. Kensie Merritt, 24, of Albany, told police the gun just went off while she was talking with Jeffery Merritt, 35, also from Albany.

Jeffery Merritt was transported to Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, where he was treated and released. While at the hospital, he was cited for failing to register as a sex offender. Kensie Merritt was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and theft. She was booked into the Linn County Jail.

10. DICKINSON, ND, 3/14/17: A Dickinson resident accidentally discharged his weapon in his home, causing him to accidentally shoot himself in the leg on the 1800 block of Prairie Avenue on Tuesday.

11. LINCOLN, NE, 3/14/17: Lincoln Police said that a man suffered non-life threatening injuries after he accidentally shot himself. The incident took place at the Nebraska Outdoor Education Center around 11:30 AM on Tuesday.

LPD said the 63-year-old man was unloading the gun after seeing a sign that said it must be unloaded before going into the facility, when it accidentally fired and hit him in the leg. The man's three grandchildren were with him and no else was hurt.

Public Safety Director Tom Casady provided some statistics on Twitter Tuesday about accidental shootings. Casady said there's been 12 accidental discharges reported to LPD in the last year. Of that number, five people were shot, none were killed. Six people had concealed carry permits.

12. ST. LOUIS, MO, 3/14/17: Homicide and child abuse detectives are investigating after a 12-year-old died from gunshot injuries at a local hospital. Police tell the Post-Dispatch that Damian Holmes, 12, and his 9-year-old brother were home alone Tuesday night in the 3300 block of Michigan Avenue when they found a gun and started playing with it.

Police aren't saying who fired the shot that hit Damian in the head around 10:35 PM. The boys' father came home and took the 12-year-old to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The shooting happened in St. Louis' Benton Park West neighborhood. Police continue to investigate this as an accidental shooting.

Damian was a student within St. Louis Public Schools. A spokesperson for the district said a crisis response team is at the school for students and staff. District officials declined to identify which school he attended. This is the second fatal shooting of a child who was playing with a gun in just more than a month in St. Louis.

On Feb. 13, Mi'Kenzie Bostic, 6, was shot and killed by one of her three siblings in their Walnut Park West apartment while her parents slept in the next room. Mi'Kenzie's parents were later charged with involuntary manslaughter.

13. MOUTAINBURG, AR, 3/14/17: Two 17-year-old boys were shot in the leg on Tuesday (March 14) after one of the teens accidentally pulled the trigger of a handgun while trying to stick it in the waistband of his pants.

The two friends were hiking through the woods northwest of W. John Wright Lane, just outside of Mountainburg city limits about 1 PM on Tuesday, according to a Mountainburg police report. The boys' parents have given 5NEWS permission to use their names.

Connor Rogers had a a .22-caliber handgun, which he admits he took from the kitchen drawer while his father was at work. He said neither of their parents knew they had taken a gun. "We decided to go home, and at that time I decided to put the gun in my pants," Rogers explained. "I'm guessing it hit the safety switch because I made sure the safety was on, but the police said don't trust the safety."

He said he accidentally pulled the trigger and a bullet hit him in the left thigh and his friend Kendall Seratt in the right shin. The boy who was hit in the shin said he thought the bullet was lodged in his leg. Both boys were taken to Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith to get their wounds examined, and have since been released.

"We're glad these juveniles were not hurt badly," Police Chief Vincent Clamser said. Seratt's mother said the bullet is still lodged in her son's right ankle, and they plan to see a specialist to figure out what to do next. Rogers said he is grounded and has learned his lesson. "I could have died, easy," Rogers said.

Meanwhile Mountainburg Police said they want to make something positive out of this and remind people about gun safety. They offer free gun locks to the public. Chief Clamser said anyone in the area is welcome to stop by the department and get one.

14. METARIE, LA, 3/15/17: Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said a fourth person has been found shot dead in a Metairie apartment complex that was the scene of a separate quadruple shooting this morning. The bodies of two men and one woman were found in an apartment at 2508 Pasadena Avenue in Metairie this morning, and one woman who was shot in the face was able to call 911.

She is currently in stable condition at an area hospital receiving treatment for her wounds, Normand said. At a press conference from the scene of the quadruple shooting, Normand said officers performing a sweep of the area found an adjacent apartment with the door ajar.

"We procured a search warrant, and we went into that apartment," Normand said. "We discovered a fourth individual murdered, a white male approximately 50 years of age, who we are in the process of trying to identify." Normand said it was too early to draw any connections between the two shootings, citing the ongoing investigation.

"The investigation is still in its infancy," Normand said. "We're pulling together a bunch of information, and when we get to that juncture where we can release more about what we know about this, we will." Normand also gave more details on the accidental shooting that occurred this morning at the chaotic scene.

An officer who was processing a weapon found at the scene was having trouble clearing a live round from the chamber of the gun, Normand said. The round went off after the bolt released in what Normand referred to as a "bolt fire." "The weapon was faced down to the ground, like we always do when we're clearing weapons," he said. "It [the round] hit some concrete and some brick, and the brick shrapnel is what hot the officer. He's fine."

15. GARY, IN, 3/15/17: Two Gary men were charged with false informing after they lied to investigators about a shooting that wounded one of them, police said. Christian Barnett, 18, and Tevin Donelson, 21, met Gary police as they arrived about 9:15 PM. Wednesday at a home in the 4200 block of Adams Street after receiving a 911 call about a gunshot victim, Lt. Thomas Pawlak said.

The pair initially told police they were walking in the area of 45th Avenue and Washington Street when they heard gunshots and began to run. They claimed Barnett collapsed as he ran, and Donelson helped him into a residence, police said. Barnett had a gunshot wound to his inner left thigh and left hand, police said. The men later admitted Barnett accidentally shot himself while inside a vehicle in front of the residence, police said.

16. ELKHART, IN, 3/16/17: A man is being treated at the hospital after suffering an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at an Elkhart home. It happened around 1 PM Thursday in the 1100 block of Evens Street. The victim, a 44-year-old man, told police he was manipulating his handgun when it fired. The bullet hit him in his shin.

The man was transported to a local hospital by ambulance and is being treated for a non-life threatening injury. The Elkhart Police Department wants to remind all gun owners about the importance of gun safety. They offer the following advice: 1) Always treat a gun as if it were loaded. 2) Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction 3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. 4) Store you gun in a safe place out of the reach of children.

17. SOUTH BEND, IN, 3/16/17: Police said a 21-year-old man and his 25-year-old male friend died when they were shot in an apparent accident here early Thursday morning. Sheldon Camarillo, 21, was pronounced dead at a hospital after he was found with a gunshot wound in the 800 block of South Bendix Drive. The other man, 25-year-old Casey McLean, died late Thursday afternoon, according to a news release from the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office.

Investigators are not seeking any suspects in the shooting, which they believe happened while the two men were participating in "reckless" behavior with a firearm, the news release said. Police first responded to the scene just before 3 AM.

The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit was then activated to handle the case. Camarillo's autopsy was scheduled for Friday morning in Kalamazoo. An autopsy for McLean was in the process of being scheduled by the county coroner.

18. CHICAGO, IL, 3/16/17: A judge Saturday ordered that one of two Englewood parents charged after their 3-year-old son was accidentally shot be held on a $750,000 bail.

Michael D. Riley, 34, was charged Friday with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and four misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County state's attorney's Office. He appeared in bond court Saturday. Gwenddolyn Holloway, 28, was charged Friday with four misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, according to police.

Riley has previous drug convictions and a pending misdemeanor aggravated assault case from earlier this year, according to court records. The shooting happened just before 5 PM Thursday in a home in the 6200 block of South Aberdeen, police said.

A police spokesman said the boy was playing "cops-and-robbers" at the time. The boy was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition, authorities said. Chicago Police said the 3-year-old boy was the youngest of at least four children left home unsupervised in an apartment without heat or hot water -- "deplorable conditions," according to a CPD spokesman.

The four other siblings, who range in age from 5 to 11, have been placed in the care of a relative under a DCFS monitored plan, a statement from the Department of Children and Family Services said. Police said Holloway had a Firearm Owner Identification Card. Authorities say she owned a .40-caliber handgun; it was found in a lock box that had been left unlocked. A spent shell casing found next to the boy matches the caliber of the weapon recovered.

DCFS is investigating the shooting, according to the agency, and both parents are being investigated for allegations of neglect. "DCFS has had prior contact with this family, including an indicated finding against the father for neglect in 2009, and two indicated findings against the mother for neglect in February 2013 and March 2013," the statement from the agency said.

DCFS "took custody of one of the children" after the March 2013 finding due to the neglect, the statement said. That child was placed in a "therapeutic setting."

The family was referred for services, and the mother has completed many of them, according to DCFS. A DCFS source said the mother had completed parenting classes, and a class for parenting special needs children. But the father, who was referred to those classes, remains "non-compliant." Child welfare investigators have been denied access to the home by the family "on several occasions," the DCFS statement said.

The source said the agency also made unannounced visits to the home in 2016 and 2017, but no one responded. The shooting comes just over a month after 2-year-old Lavontay White was killed in a shooting on Feb. 14 in North Lawndale.

19. LINCOLN, NE, 3/16/17: A Lincoln man was cited Thursday evening after accidentally discharging his firearm, causing a bullet to go through his neighbor's house and into a child's bedroom, Lincoln police said. The man was cleaning his handgun just after 5 PM in the 1700 block of West Garfield Street. He thought the gun was empty but fired a shot after racking the slide, Officer Katie Flood said Friday.

The round went out his home and into a child's bedroom of the neighboring home, Flood said. No one was in the damaged home and no injuries were reported. The man was cited on suspicion of discharging a firearm in city limits after calling police to report the incident.

20. BRONX, NY, 3/16/17: He accidentally shot himself in the stomach at a Bronx park -- and shot himself in the foot when he blamed the blunder on a phantom black man.

Cops arrested 20-year-old Arthur Palombo on Thursday, after seeing through his lies and determining the gunshot he suffered near the tennis courts inside Williamsbridge Oval Park off of W. 208th St. and Bainbridge Ave. in Norwood Wednesday was self-inflicted. Palombo accidentally shot himself in the left side of the stomach about 10:45 PM, police said.

The bullet exited his left flank. First responders took him to Jacobi Medical Center. He told investigators he went to the park to show an old revolver he had in his apartment to a potential buyer he had met a few weeks earlier.

The buyer, however, shot down the $100 asking price and shot him with the piece as they haggled over the price, he claimed. When pressed, Palombo, who is Hispanic, described the shooter as a black man with a bald head. Cops searched the park and found the revolver. When Palombo was released from the hospital, he was questioned by detectives again, this time admitting he was by himself and the gun went off accidentally in his jacket pocket.

Prosecutors charged him with weapons possession and filing a false report. A judge ordered him held on $10,000 bail during his arraignment Friday, officials said.

21. HAMPTON, VA, 3/16/17: A woman died Thursday morning after police say a gun went off inside a car. Hampton police say a preliminary investigation found the woman was getting into a car when her firearm accidentally discharged. Two juveniles she knew were inside the vehicle at the time.

Officers were called to Regal Way just before 8 AM Thursday for a report of a possible shooting. They found the woman, who has not been identified, suffering from a single gunshot wound inside the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident is being investigated as an accidental shooting. Police say there does not appear to be foul play involved. Regal Way resident Oscar Chavez says he was taking his daughter to school this morning when he saw the blocked road.

"I saw a lot of police cars, fire, ambulance. They didn't let nobody go down there," he said. "I said, 'Something's wrong here.' I said to my daughter that it's something serious." Brenda Marks, who also lives in the community and is a friend of the victim's neighbor, says she remembers the woman as a good person."She was always jovial when I was around her," Marks said. "She would always say stuff that would make you laugh."

Marks says it's a tragedy knowing this happened, especially since there were two juveniles in the car. 10 On Your Side is still working to confirm if the victim was related to the juveniles. Marks says the woman did have children. "She adored her children. She was focused on getting them a good education," she said.

22. CENTRAL POINT, OR, 3/16/16: Two Central Point residents are receiving medical attention after a shooting inside their home on Vista Drive. A source on scene confirmed with NBC5 that it was an accidental shooting. He says those inside the house were looking at a gun when it went off.

One male was hit with a bullet in his hand, and a female in her leg. Police believe it to be a husband and wife. Alex Trujillo who lives across the street says he was shocked to hear about the shooting because he didn't know they had a gun. But he knows the couple who lives there to be good, responsible people.

"He just works on washers and dryers out in front of his house and it's kind of weird . . . it doesn't seem like something he would do. I mean it seems like he knows how to handle a gun," Trujillo said. The source on scene said they are being treated at Rogue Regional Medical Center. Central Point police say their injuries are not life-threatening. This is an ongoing investigation.

24. KIRBY, TX, 3/16/17: A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper was hospitalized Thursday night after he was shot in the chest during an apparent home invasion in Kirby. According to Sgt. Orlando Moreno, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, troopers were responded around 11:45 PM to an attempted home invasion at a trooper's home in the 5100 block of Tom Stafford Drive.

Authorities said the trooper, who was off-duty at the time, came home and heard a noise at his backdoor. Moreno said the trooper "retrieved his service firearm, put on his protective vest and went to investigate an intruder in his backyard."

As he walked out the backdoor, "he was immediately attacked by a male suspect who tried to force his way into the trooper's residence," Moreno said. During the fight, the trooper's gun discharged, but the bullet was stopped by the trooper's vest. By the time authorities arrived to the scene, the suspect had fled.

The trooper, who's name has not been released, was transported to San Antonio Military Medical Center, where he is currently being held for further evaluation. Authorities have not provided a description of the suspect. Moreno said the Texas Rangers are investigating the incident. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office, San Antonio Police Department and the Kirby Police Department are all assisting.

25. FORT WORTH, TX, 3/16/17: A five-year-old boy is recovering after he found a gun at his Fort Worth home and shot himself. In what police are calling a very close call, the child found the gun on a nightstand next to his parent's bed. They had just bought the new handgun.

As their son played with the loaded gun, it went off. The bullet went through the child's hand. MedStar took him to Cook Children's where doctors described his injury as only minor. However, the incident is anything but minor to police. Investigators from the Crimes Against Children Unit are looking into the incident and the parent's may face charges.

26. FORT WORTH, TX, 3/17/17: Two children were injured after an apparent accidental shooting outside a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant Friday evening in southwest Fort Worth, police say. Fort Worth police responded at about 6 PM to the restaurant off Southwest Loop 820 near the Hulen Mall.

Two 3-year-old children were exiting a vehicle when one of the children found a gun inside the vehicle and shot himself in the hand, according to police. The bullet also struck the other child in the side. Both children were transported by a private vehicle to Cook Children's Medical Center. Fort Worth police are investigating and say it is unknown whether charges will be filed. Further details have not been released.

27. HORIZON CITY, TX, 3/17/17: A bullet accidentally fired by a US Border Patrol agent went into a neighbor's home Friday morning in Horizon City, police officials said. No one was injured when a single bullet went through a window into a house and became lodged in a wall at about 6:30 AM on Lago De Oro Drive, Horizon City police officials said.

Horizon City police investigating the shooting found that the an off-duty Border Patrol agent had accidentally fired a weapon, police said in a news release. The incident is under investigation by the Horizon City Police Department and the Border Patrol.

28. MEMPHIS, TN, 3/17/17: A 74-year-old man died Monday after he was mistakenly shot by his elderly friend at a North Memphis home last week. Family members said Maurice Horton went to visit his 82-year-old friend, Roosevelt Hodge, Friday evening at Hodge's home in the 2500 block of Hanwood. Hodge apparently shot Horton.

"It was mistaken identity," said Horton's nephew Michael Minor. "Mr. Roosevelt got confused and thought my uncle was a man he saw earlier in his yard. He shot my uncle but it was a mistake." Memphis police initially sent out a press release Tuesday naming Roosevelt Hodge as the shooting victim and not the shooter.

Police later sent a second press release at 11:37 AM Tuesday correcting the name of the man who was killed. "Police got that wrong. My uncle was shot and killed by his friend," Minor said. "We don't blame the man."

Minor said his uncle owned an upholstery business in North Memphis and was a good man. "It is real hard losing him," Minor said. Minor lives around the corner from Hodge. He said his uncle, Maurice Horton, called him after he had been shot. "We get around there and he is on the sidewalk," Minor said. "He said his friend shot him."

Minor said police took Hodge downtown for questioning. Horton's son, Vincent Horton, said his father was a deacon and a trustee at Full Gospel Missionary Baptist Church on Manassas. "We're sad and we don't blame Mr. Roosevelt," Vincent Horton said.

On Tuesday, Hodge was back at home when his longtime neighbor Callan Tucker went check on him and his wife around 11 AM. She went into the home and was told by a family member inside that the couple was asleep.

"They are marvelous people," Tucker said. "I've known them all my life and they are good people. Mr. Roosevelt didn't mean to shoot that man. It was mistaken identity." Tucker said she hopes her neighbor is not charged in the slaying. Police said no charges had been filed late Tuesday.

29. BRADFORD, PA, 3/17/17: A Mount Jewett woman sustained what police say was an accidental gunshot wound in the upper arm Friday afternoon in Foster Township while helping a friend sort through her late husband's belongings.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to 362 Lafferty Hollow at 3:27 PM Friday for a call of a shooting victim. Foster Township Police Chief Tom Munn said George Ann Krouse, 47, of 22 W. Main St., Mount Jewett, and her boyfriend, Ron Dietrick, 60, of 341 Lafferty Hollow, were at the home of Nina Dawley at 362 Lafferty Hollow.

The couple was helping Dawley sort through some items that had belonged to her late husband when one of them found a gun case. Inside the case was a .22-caliber, nine-shot revolver. Dietrick took the firearm out of the case and checked to see if it was loaded, police said.

"He was trying to unload it when it discharged," Munn explained. "The bullet struck (Krouse) in the bicep. It went through her bicep and struck her thumb." Police said they recovered the bullet on the floor. Munn said Krouse was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center by Bradford City Ambulance.

"She's very lucky," Munn said. "If it went into her chest, it could have been much worse." He added that Krouse was conscious and alert and in good spirits after the incident. "It's still under investigation and it appears accidental," Munn said of the shooting. "There are no charges at this point."

30. HARTFORD, CT, 3/17/17: The shooting that claimed the life of 15-year-old Keon Huff Jr. this month was accidental, the Hartford teen charged with the killing told investigators, according to court records released Monday.

Tywone Edwards Jr., 17, said he thought the gun's safety was on as he played with the gun, pointing it at others in the rear hallway of a Garden Street apartment building on March 17. Edwards said that while pulling the trigger, the gun fired and a bullet struck Keon, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released to the public Monday following Edwards' arraignment in Superior Court.

In a statement to detectives on Friday, Edwards acknowledged "pointing the gun at everyone" that evening and insisted that the shooting of Keon was an accident.

"Edwards said Huff was his friend and he shot Huff by accident," the affidavit said. Edwards told investigators that Keon had been sitting down, but when he got up, the gun went off. After seeing a hole in Keon's head, he ran, the affidavit said. A witness told detectives that Edwards' friends yelled at him when he began pointing the gun at them.

They told him to put it away but Edwards would not listen, according to the affidavit. The document does not say how Edwards obtained the firearm. After the shooting, Edwards pointed the gun at two of the people he was with and told them to pick up the shell casing, a witness said. The witness told investigators he was scared and thought Edwards would kill him, the affidavit said.

A witness said they stepped over Keon's body as they ran off. After one of the individuals tossed the shell casing, they ran to Enfield Street, where Edwards hid the gun behind a house, the witness said. Police tracked down Edwards and took him to police headquarters for questioning. His father, Tywone Edwards Sr., 35, was there when his son was questioned.

The younger Edwards admitted to detectives that he threw the gun into a yard on Enfield Street and went home, the affidavit said. Officers went to the Garden Street apartment building after a report of gunshots or firecrackers in the area. There, they found Keon with a gunshot wound to the head, the affidavit said.

A paramedic pronounced Keon dead. Edwards was arraigned as an adult in Superior Court after a hearing earlier on Monday in juvenile court. Superior Court Judge James M. Bentivegna, citing the severity of the charges as well as Edwards' juvenile record, set bail at $1 million. Bentivegna reviewed Edwards' juvenile arrest record and provided copies of it to his lawyer and a prosecutor, but did not reveal any details. A bail commissioner said that Edwards was not attending school at the time of his arrest.

Edwards, his hands shackled to chains around his waist, stood quietly as defense attorney Deron Freeman told the judge the warrant for Edwards' arrest did not contain any evidence of murder. There's "only Mr. Edwards' own statement it was an accident," Freeman said.

Bentivegna said that since a judge had signed the warrant and found probable cause to arrest Edwards, the issue was moot for now.

Outside court, Freeman repeated his view that the shooting was not intentional. "It appears as if they were friends and it appears it was an accident," Freeman said.

Edwards was arrested late Friday after an "exhaustive" investigation by detectives, police said. He faces charges of murder, tampering with evidence and carrying a pistol without a permit. Police said they received immense support from the community, including pictures and eyewitness reports, that helped result in the arrest of Edwards.

Edwards is due back in court April 19. In the wake of Keon's death, officials with the state Department of Children and Families acknowledged they have been reviewing their involvement with the teen and his family. Records show that Keon, who had been arrested and reported missing a number of times since 2013, slipped through the grasp of public agencies in the weeks before his death.

On March 2, he bolted from DCF custody and surfaced on March 8 when he was arrested by Newington police. Absent a take-into-custody order, necessary for Keon to be held in detention, Newington police turned the teen over to DCF, his legal guardian, but he fled their facility on Hamilton Street on March 8.

A take-into-custody order was issued eight days later on March 16, the day before he was fatally shot. Questions remain as to why DCF accepted Keon back even after bolting days earlier and why the justice system did not intervene when the teen was arrested by Newington police.

31. SPRINGFIELD, OR, 3/17/17: A man accidentally shot himself in the finger and the bullet continued into his knee Friday evening, according to the Springfield Police Department. The incident occurred in the 1900 block of 5th Street in Springfield.
It was reported as a gunshot wound around 6:53 PM.

Police say three people witnessed the incident. They say the victim was bleeding from his hand, was pale, sitting down and alert. One witness started first aid on the man's hand. When medics arrived, they treated the victim and transported him to a hospital.

32. BEND, OR, 3/18/17: A 22-year-old Bend man is in the hospital after authorities say he was accidentally shot by a friend who was unloading a handgun. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says Trevor Rogers was airlifted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend Saturday night with injuries not considered life-threatening.

The office says 21-year-old Julian Messner accidentally shot his friend. The office says he mistakenly thought he had removed a round from the chamber of the semi-automatic handgun. No criminal charges have been filed against Messner but the case is being sent to the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office for review.

33. NORTHGLENN, CO, 3/18/17: A 17-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the leg late Saturday in Northglenn. Police say the shooting happened about 9:30 PM on the 18000 block of Washington Street. The teen was taken to an area hospital with a non-life threatening wound.

"Officers were advised on scene that the shooting was accidental," police announced Tuesday. "The incident is currently under investigation by the Northglenn Police Department." No arrests have been announced. No additional details about the shooting were released.

34. PONTIAC, MI, 3/18/17: A 15-year-old Orion Township boy is hospitalized in critical condition after police say he was shot in the head by his best friend Saturday night in Pontiac.

"The victim and suspect are best friends and detectives are trying to determine if this was an accidental discharge of the weapon," the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in an incident report. "The incident remains under investigation."

The teen was unconscious in a bedroom when deputies arrived at the 100 block of Wall Street. He was first taken to McLaren Oakland hospital in Pontiac and has since been transported to Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, the report said. Deputies said his friend, a 14-year-old Pontiac boy, shot him with a .32-caliber handgun that was located in the backyard of a neighboring property.

That teen was taken to Oakland County Children's Village, the report said. Detectives spoke to three juveniles who were at the home when the shooting took place as part of the investigation.

35. NEWARK, NJ, 3/18/17: The father of a 10-year-old boy killed in an accidental shooting in Newark on Saturday was arrested during the investigation on charges he assaulted an officer who responded to the scene, authorities said.

William Lowther remained held Monday at the Essex County jail. He was also charged with criminal mischief, said Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. Lowther is the father of 10-year-old Josiah Coleman, who died early Saturday in the shooting at a home on the 800 block of South 19th Street.

An 11-year-old was holding a gun when it fired, killing Josiah, according to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. Authorities have not revealed how the 11-year-old gained access to the gun.

"We can't discuss right now who owned the gun and whether it was owned legally," Carter said. "That's part of the investigation."

Josiah had recently moved to Pennsylvania but was visiting his father in Newark on Friday night in advance of a birthday party planned for Saturday evening for Josiah's sister, family members said. Outside the house on Monday, Josiah's maternal grandfather, his paternal grandmother and an aunt recalled the 10-year-old as a loving child, filled with life, who smiled frequently.

His passions included basketball, his fifth-grade studies, and gaming. "He loved video games, he played video games all day," his grandfather Clarence Jamaal Coleman said. "And school."

Coleman said his daughter and Lowther were never married, and that Josiah used his mother's last name, not his father's. Lowther lives in a third-floor apartment above his mother's residence, the family said. His mother and Josiah's aunt declined to provide their names while speaking with NJ Advance Media.

Josiah's family said Lowther's girlfriend and her son were visiting the home. Lowther's mother said she was asleep when the shooting occurred around 1:20 AM. She and the other family members did not know what happened or why the two boys were up at that hour.

They said Lowther's girlfriend was up with the boys. Lowther's girlfriend was also outside the house briefly on Monday, though she did not elaborate on what happened the night of the shooting, except to say that her son would never hurt anyone. She did not give her name. Carter, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, declined to comment on the 11-year-old's relationship to Josiah.

She also declined to say whether additional charges could be filed against Lowther. "All I can say is the investigation is ongoing," Carter said. "We can't say we're looking at a particular person for a particular thing until we're ready to charge them."

The prosecutor's office had issued a statement on Sunday saying the 10-year-old victim was accidentally shot inside the home by another juvenile.

Related News
Conservative Newspaper Columnist and Longtime
Gun-rights Advocate Killed in Gun Accident


PORTLAND, Maine (December 29, 2016) -- The Portland Press Herald is reporting M.D. Harmon, a well-known conservative newspaper columnist, has died after a gun was improperly fired in his home by a visiting teenager.

Harmon was showing one of his guns to the young man when the gun went off. Harmon, a steadfast defender of gun rights and champion of conservative viewpoints, was a longtime Maine Sunday Telegram and Press Herald editor and columnist.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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