Friday, April 11, 2014

2-year-old killed by stray bullet while playing in front yard

2-year-old John Swoveland, Jr., of South Bend, Indiana, was playing in the front yard of his aunt's home with his 7-year-old sister. About a block away, a gunfight broke out between two rival gangs.

A stray bullet hit John in the chest. He died at the scene.

According to a neighbor, at first the boy's parents thought he had been hit by a car. But then the mother saw blood along the edge of John's diaper and when she pulled up his shirt she saw the gunshot wound.

Police are still investigating the incident and no arrests have been made.

John's mother is currently expecting another child. Before John was born, his mother suffered another tragedy when her baby daughter died of natural causes at just nine days old.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Monster is Real

A message from States United calls for more measures to keep children safe from loaded, unlocked guns. Get involved, sign our petition at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2-year-old unintentionally shoots and kills his 11-year-old sister

11-year-old Jamara Stevens, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and her three siblings, a 14-year-old boy, 7-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy found an unlocked, loaded .357 caliber handgun on top of the refrigerator in their home.  The gun had been left there by their mother's boyfriend. 

The children brought the gun upstairs.  At some point, the 2-year-old picked up the weapon, pointed it in Jamara's direction and pulled the trigger.  Jamara was shot in the chest, the bullet hit her heart.  She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police determined the 2-year-old boy pulled the trigger because he had traces of gun powder and a burn from the blast on his arm.

Police say this is not the first time they have been called to Jamara's home and that her mother is not cooperating with the investigation.  Police are still investigating and no charges have been filed yet. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lawmaker who sponsored "2nd Amendment Day" bill in Oklahoma unintentionally shoots someone while bird hunting

55-year-old Steve Vaughan is the Republican state representative from Ponca City, Oklahoma.  He is a conservative lawmaker who has sponsored a number of gun bills, including a 2011 bill to expand Stand Your Ground/Shoot First and a bill to create an official annual "Second Amendment Day" in Oklahoma.

Recently, he was pheasant hunting when he shot another hunter in the side of the head with a shotgun pellet from his 12-gauge shotgun.  Vaughan stated, "A bird got up and flew between us, oh probably 50 yards away.  I shot at the bird, and , I guess, one of my pellets hit this guy.... I'm a safety guy. I was so mad at myself for even thinking about shooting the bird in this direction where I knew he was down in there."

The victim, Drew Ihrig, who is a local attorney, said he has no ill will towards Vaughan. "This was a pure accident," he said.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kent State student unintentionally shoots himself, causes campus lockdown

24-year-old Quavaugntay Tyler is a freshman at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.  Wednesday night around 8 p.m. he got into an altercation with two female students near Bowman Hall.  According to officials, he was dating both women.

Tyler pulled a handgun out of his waistband and immediately unintentionally discharged the weapon.  He was shot in the left hand.

After the shooting, both women fled and Tyler asked a friend in one of the dorms to hide his backpack with the gun.  He then went to the hospital for treatment.

The campus went into lockdown after the shot was fired. KSU's notification system sent messages to students, staff and faculty. The lockdown wasn't lifted until 11 p.m.

Tyler told police he had the gun for protection.  He was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon on campus.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dad who fired shot into air, unintentionally killing daughter, sentenced to jail

34-year-old Deandre Kelley, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was drunk when he showed up at the home of his longtime girlfriend on a January night.  Kelley and his girlfriend, Kristina Lanza, started arguing and Kelley pulled out a gun and fired two shots into the air.

One of the bullets hit their daughter, 11-year-old Shanti, who was hiding in  an upstairs bedroom.

Kelley did not realize the girl had been shot and left the home.  Emergency services were called to the house around 3 am when Shanti was found bleeding in the bedroom.  She had been shot in the chest and died of her injuries.

Kelley pleaded guilty to once count of reckless homicide.  He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Woman shot and killed by stray bullet while standing next to her twin sister

39-year-old Norma Elizalde, of Santa Paula, California was inside her home, doing laundry with her twin sister. A stray bullet came in through the window and struck Norma in the neck. She died of her injuries.

Police determined that two people were standing outside Norma's home when a car drove by with two people they were involved in a fight with. One of the people in the car fired several rounds from a handgun at the people standing on the street. Neither Norma or anyone in her family were the intended target.

Norma leaves behind a husband, a 13-year-old son and a 16-year-old son.

Police have made an arrest in the killing.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Gun unintentionally discharges at Colorado Springs gun show

A vendor at a gun show in Colorado Springs, Colorado was setting up his products when one of his guns unintentionally discharged.  The bullet hit the floor and  "shattered upon impact, resulting in no damage and no injuries," said police.

The vendor said the weapon was test fired earlier in the week because it had been returned to him as defective  After test firing the weapon, the vendor removed the magazine but neglected to check to see if there was a bullet left in the chamber.   The vendor said the weapon discharged when the back of the gun was bumped during set up.

The vendor faces charges of prohibited use of a weapon and was asked to leave the gun show. 

The organizer of the gun show said that these unintentional discharge incidents happen occasionally at gun shows and in homes.  He said he doesn't see any reason to change safety procedures at future shows.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Father charged with felony in unintentional shooting death of son

34-year-old Jason Forshee, of Greensburg, Indiana was cleaning his M4 assault rifle when he left the gun unattended in the living room of his house.  Forshee told police he removed the magazine from the gun but didn't realize there was a bullet still in the chamber.

When Forshee was in the other room his 6-year-old son picked up the gun, pointed it at his 13-year-old brother Craig and pulled the trigger.  Craig was shot in the chest and died later that night in the hospital.

Forshee said he was only out of the room for 10 to 15 seconds when he heard the gun go off.

According to the police investigation, Forshee had let the 6-year-old hold the weapon before.  Just a short time before the shooting, Forshee was showing the gun to a plumber at the home and when the child asked to see the weapon, Forshee handed it to him.   This was not the only time Forshee had let the child handle the gun.

Forshee was charged with two felonies, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and dangerous control of a child.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Man arrested on drug charges after police come to his house to investigate roommate's unintentional shooting

28-year-old Coli Ayers, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was attempting to clear his handgun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon.  The bullet struck him in the jaw and caused extensive damage.  Police said he was "severely intoxicated" at the time. 

When police arrived at the residence they noticed some marijuana.  After obtaining a search warrant police confiscated 70 grams of marijuana as well as 14 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 12 glass vials that held a liquid they suspected was a steroid drug, 23 glass bottles for drugs and 255 syringes.

Police arrested Ayers' roommate, John Scruton, on drug possession charges.

Police also confiscated three conventional rifles, two shotguns and a .50-caliber, muzzle-loading, black-powder rifle.

Read more here:

Read more here: