Monday, September 29, 2014

Unintentional shootings by people who carry concealed weapons in public

The Atlantic Citylab takes a look at people who carry concealed weapons and keep unintentionally shooting themselves in public bathrooms. In most cases the self-inflicted victims were pulling up or lowering their pants when their concealed weapon fell out, hit the floor, and fired.

The list includes:

  • An elementary school teacher in Utah who discharged her gun in the faculty bathroom. The bullet shattered a toilet, sending shards into her leg.
  • An off-duty cop who unintentionally fired his gun in the restroom in a Target in Honolulu. 
  • A New Jersey detective who unintentionally shot himself in the bathroom at work.
  • A customer at a Burger King in Pennsylvania who panicked when his 9mm handgun unintentionally discharged in the men's room. 

Guns are the only consumer product manufactured in American not regulated by a federal agency for health and safety. Guns that discharge when dropped clearly have a design flaw yet the Consumer Product Safety Commission has no authority to issue a recall on any gun or demand they be redesigned.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

19-year-old unintentionally shoots & kills friend while playing with handgun

19-year-old Vinell Ayers, of Memphis, Tennessee, and Fontaine Craft were playing with a handgun while sitting in the back seat of a Ford Explorer at a gas station. According to police, the two were playing with the gun and pointing it at each other.

Ayers unintentionally discharged the gun and the bullet hit 20-year-old Derrick Glasper who was sitting in the driver's seat.  Glasper was hit in the back and upper chest.  Gasper was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries.

Ayers attempted to hide the gun under a shed at the back of the gas station.  He was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and tampering with evidence.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2-year-old unintentionally discharges father's gun in Wendy's restaurant

Matthew Magish, a Clay Country, Florida sheriff's deputy was off duty and standing in line at a Wendy's restaurant with his 2-year-old son and the boy's maternal grandparents.  Magish was carrying his personal .380-caliber Kel-Tec semiautomatic handgun inside his right front pants pocket.

According to police reports, the boy stuck his hand into the pocket looking for a snack and unintentionally discharged the handgun.

The boy was struck in the foot by a shattered bullet fragment. Bullet fragments also struck the boy's grandfather as well as two female customers standing nearby. The boy and the three adults were treated at the scene by emergency medical personnel.

Magish remains on duty while the investigation into the incident continues.




Monday, September 8, 2014

Two months after state legalizes guns on campuses, Idaho professor shoots himself in foot

An Idaho State University assistant professor was teaching a chemistry class when a handgun inside his pocket unintentionally discharged, shooting him in the foot.  He was treated and released from a local hospital.

A new law, passed over the objection of the presidents of the state's leading universities, allows guns to be carried on university grounds.  The law went into effect on July 1. The professor did have the enhanced concealed-carry permit that allowed him to carry the loaded, hidden handgun on campus.

Guns are still banned in areas of the physical science complex where nuclear research is done, but guns are allowed in the chemistry lab were the incident happened.  There are 19 students enrolled in the chemistry course, but it is unclear how many were in the classroom at the time.

The university has declined to release the name of the instructor and is conducting a review of the incident.

9-year-old girl unintentionally shoots and kills gun range instructor

43-year-old Alexander MacLachlan, of Weekhawken, New Jersey, was vacationing with his wife and three children in Las Vegas when they decided to visit The Last Stop Burger and Bullets in White Hills, Arizona.

The family took a monster truck ride and then headed over to the shooting range. Alexander was the first to shoot a weapon. His 9-year-old daughter went next.

The gun range instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca, showed the 9-year-old how to use an Uzi automatic submachine gun. He showed her how to shoot the gun, how to stand and helped her fire a few rounds. He then stepped back and let her fire the gun herself in the fully automatic mode.

The recoil from the Uzi wrenched the gun upward, shooting Vacca in the head. Vacca was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital where he died a few hours later.

The range's operator said the parents had signed waivers and added that they had never had a safety problem before and had a policy of allowing children 8 and older to fire guns under adult supervision.

Prosecutors said they do not plan to file any charges.  Vacca's family has said they feel sorry for the girl and do not blame her.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Tourist killed by ricocheted bullet from unintentional gun discharge in Helen, Georgia

A woman from Texas was visiting the tourist town of Helen, Georgia when she was shot and killed Saturday night. 53-year-old Glenn Lampien, from Jasper, Ga, unintentionally discharged a small-caliber handgun outside the Old Heidelburg restaurant. The bullet hit him in the hand, then ricocheted off the pavement and struck the woman on the other side of the street.

The woman was struck in the side. Bystanders attempted to administer first aid but she died at the scene.

Police have not yet released the woman's name. In a statement, the police said Lampien would be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The shooting occurred less than two months after a new law took effect in Georgia that greatly extended gun owners' rights to carry weapons in public places.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Motorcyclist unitentionally shot when handgun goes off during crash

A 60-year-old Pennsylvania man was riding his motorcycle in Black Hawk, Colorado when he was hit by a Chevrolet sedan. As he was thrown from his bike, a handgun he was carrying unintentionally discharged, shooting him in the chest.

The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries and was taken to a Denver hospital. Police recovered his handgun at the scene.

The driver of the sedan fled the scene. Police were able to locate him a short time later and arrested him for the hit-and-run.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Father unintentionally shoots daughter thinking she was an intruder

A Frederick County, Virginia man unintentionally shot his 16-year-old daughter thinking she was an intruder trying to break into his home.

According to police, around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday when the girl's father was getting ready for work, an alarm system in the house told the man the garage door had just been opened. "When he went to go investigate what had set off the alarm, he heard some banging and rustling around in the garage. At that particular point, he obtained a firearm that he had there in the kitchen area."

The man went into the garage, but didn't turn the light on. He felt someone was "coming at him" and fired the gun, hitting his daughter in the torso. The girl had snuck out of the house earlier and was trying to sneak back into the home.

After realizing his mistake, he rushed her to Winchester Medical Center. In his haste, he wrecked his car. Fire and Rescue transported the girl to the hospital where she remains in stable condition.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's office will determine whether or not any charges will be filed.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Man wearing only a towel and carrying a gun takes three small children to get pizza, unintentionally discharges gun

27-year-old Phillip Engle, of Muskegon Township, Michigan, told police he took four hits of acid before showing up at Happy's Pizza wearing only a towel and carrying a handgun.

Engle had three children with him - ages 6,4 and 3.  According to police reports, Engle stood outside the business and pounded on a glass window, smashing the glass. He also unintentionally discharged his .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun in the process, damaging the door to the business.

After the gun went off, Engle walked back to his home. Police arrested him there when they found him sitting on the porch still holding the gun.

Child Protect Services were notified and Engle was arrested and charged with four misdemeanors: malicious destruction of property; careless discharge of a firearm causing property damage; reckless use of a firearm; and possession of a firearm while under the influence.

Police also found evidence that Engle had fired a gun inside his vehicle, damaging the interior.  However, it isn't clear when that gunfire incident occurred in relation to the Happy's Pizza incident.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Joe Riggs unintentionally shoots himself, putting UFC return on hold

Joe Riggs is an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight fighter.  He was scheduled to make his return to the UFC after eight years away on Sept. 13th.  But his return has been put on hold after he unintentionally shot himself while cleaning his handgun.

Riggs was at his home in Arizona when he unintentionally discharged the handgun, shooting himself in his hand and upper thigh. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

The UFC is currently looking for a replacement for the Sept. 13th fight.