An argument over whether a gun would fire turned deadly in Chicago.
Joeann Smith was arguing with 65-year-old Willie Smith about whether a gun would fire around 7 p.m. on Wednesday at her home in the 1700 block of East 72nd Street, authorities told the Chicago Sun Times.
During the argument, Joeann pointed the gun at Willie's face and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit Willie in the eye and he was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was ruled brain dead and died around 9 a.m. Friday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
The argument between Joeann and Willie has been classified as domestic by police, but the exact relationship between them is not known at this time.
Joeann Smith has been charged in the shooting and will appear in court Saturday, reports ABC 7.
A 69-year-old Florida man was shot in the chest and killed while standing in his backyard on Christmas morning, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Police are investigating whether Bruce Fleming’s death was the result of a stray bullet fired at a nearby resident’s gun range.
Fleming was in the backyard of his Deltona home, when a shot came from the northeast. His wife, son, and grandson were at the home when the shooting occurred.
Fleming was taken to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City where he was later pronounced dead.
“Based on everything we know thus far, it appears the shooting was accidental,” said sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson.
It is not illegal to shoot guns in one’s backyard in Florida, as long as it isn’t done “negligently or recklessly.”
“It’s pretty clear that it was negligent, for shooting obviously out the backyard,” a spokesman for the family, Robert Reynolds, told WKMG-TV. “There’s houses everywhere.”
Three years ago, Aubrey Peters was honored as a hero for her quick-thinking actions that helped save two children who fell through the ice into a frigid reservoir.
Today the pretty and popular 16-year-old with a talent for art and a propensity for helping others is dead, the victim of some idiot who thought it would be fun to play with guns.
Peters (pictured) was hanging out with friends Sunday night at the home of 20-year-old Jacob McDaniel in Noblesville, Ind., near Indianapolis, when the talk for some reason turned to the subject of firearms. McDaniel and two other men, DeJaun Williams and Skylar Gadd, went upstairs to look at guns that McDaniel had in the house.
In his bedroom, McDaniel showed them a shotgun and a handgun he kept under his bed. The young men went back downstairs, McDaniel carrying the handgun. According to his own account told to police and recounted in an an officer’s affidavit, McDaniel ejected the gun’s magazine, which made him think that the weapon was empty.
Of course, there was still a bullet in the chamber.
McDaniel then tried to persuade Aubrey to hold the gun, but she wanted no part of it. So he teasingly pointed it at her and pulled the trigger. He expected just a click. Instead, he shot Aubrey in the chest.
“What just happened?” she said as she felt the impact of the bullet.
According to Williams, McDaniel then concocted a story, that the gun had fallen off a kitchen table and fired on its own. But his horrified friends didn’t go along with his cover-up and in the end, neither did McDaniel.
Police and firefighters showed up, but Aubrey died in a hospital later that night.
In 2010, the teenager spotted two sisters, ages seven and four, who had fallen through the ice and into Morse Lake, a reservoir. The then-seventh-grader calmly called 911 and also alerted her grandparents, who pulled the girls from the frigid water.
The Red Cross credited Aubrey, as well as her grandparents, with saving the little girls’ lives.
Her friends gathered at that same reservoir for an impromptu memorial to Aubrey last night.
"This should not have happened to her. She did not deserve to die,” said her boyfriend, Indiana University freshman Joe Hodson, at the vigil. “She is the kind of person meant to change the world, not die at the age of 16 due to some negligence with a handgun."
Her death was the second fatality in two days from an accidental shooting in the Indianapolis area. On Saturday, a three-year-old toddler died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a handgun that was left on a kitchen counter.
SOURCES: Hamilton County Superior Court, WISH-TV, Indianapolis Star, Associated Press
Any story that begins with people “playing” with guns is doomed from the start. This one is no exception.
Florida resident Justin Holt was tragically shot and killed on Monday while he and his girlfriend were playing with their friend’s handgun. According to Florida news station WPBF, Holt and his friends were dry-firing the gun at each other for fun earlier in the day. After the friends were done playing with the gun, the gun’s owner loaded the weapon and set it on a table.
Holt’s girlfriend Erin Steele never saw the gun’s owner reload the weapon. About two hours later, she picked the gun up, pointed it at Holt, and fired. Instead of the hearing the quiet click of a dry-fire, she saw her boyfriend fall to the ground in pain. She’d shot him in the chest.
Friends called 911 immediately for help.
“Please help me, ma'am!” a man is heard saying on the 911 call. “There was an accident; there was a very bad accident. Someone picked up my firearm by mistake, ma'am, and someone got shot. Please, please come.”
EMS forces arrived at the scene within minutes and took Holt to nearby Delray Medical Center. Their rescue efforts were in vain, though, as Holt died soon after arriving at the hospital.
Boca Raton police interviewed all witnesses of the shooting. Everyone present gave the same account of events and confirmed that the shooting was absolutely an accident. Holt’s family spoke to the media and said they want no charges pressed against Steele.
“We have a lot of compassion for her because she's got to live with that, no matter what she does, for the rest of her life,” Holt's grandfather, 82-year-old Michael DiFiore, told the Sun Sentinel.
Holt’s mother says the two were very much in love, and that a tragedy like this is punishment enough for Steele.
“They met and then that was it, they were together,” mother Maria Holt said. “From day one — day one — he was in love with her.”
As heartbreaking as Holt’s death is, he is far from the first person to be killed in an accidental shooting even this year. According to Policy Mic, accidental shootings killed 851 Americans in 2012.
A man from Ocala, Florida accidentally shot his elderly mother in the stomach region while retrieving his gun from its storage place late Wednesday afternoon.
Fifty-five-year-old Attila Frank “Sonny” Kerekes told police officers that his mother, 82-year-old Edith Kerekes, had asked him to show her his gun. He went to get the weapon, and accidentally fired it while removing it from the bag that housed it.
Although Edith was in the kitchen and Sonny was a different room, Sonny said that the bullet hit her in the abdomen after blasting through a wall.
According to police reports, the gun once belonged to Sonny’s father, who died in the early ‘80s. He used the weapon, a .38 revolver, to shoot sharks in Miami, where he worked in the fishing industry.
Sonny claimed that he did not realize that the bullet had hurt his mother until she began complaining about pain in the stomach region. He said that he called 911 as soon as he realized what had happened.
Edith was admitted to the hospital for surgery, and the Ocala Star Banner reports that her condition is stable.
Sonny moved in with his mother several months before the incident.
Although many people purchase guns to help ensure their own safety, firearms are 22 times more likely to be used in accidental shootings than in self-defense, according to Scientific American.
About 31,672 people were killed by guns in 2010, the latest year for which statistics are available. Roughly 61 percent of those deaths were suicides, and most of the rest were homicides.
Beyond deaths, 72,505 people went to the emergency room for non-lethal shootings in 2010.
While accidental shootings are often caused by children who find their parent’s weapons, even trained adults may accidentally discharge guns.
Anyone in the City Hall building in Flippin, Ark., last Monday was likely "flippin' out” when Mayor James “J.J.” Hudson fired a rifle in the police chief’s office, shooting a baseball-sized hole through the second-floor window.
According to Hudson, he was handling a firearm seized by police when the weapon accidentally discharged.
Nine days after the incident, Hudson told the Baxter Bulletin, “It’s all been taken care of; it’s all been cleaned up. I’m not going to have any further comment on it.”
Despite the mayor’s words of assurance, the Bulletin reported that the window had not been repaired or replaced, and that shards of glass still decorated the entrance to City Hall.
According to Police Chief Dusty Smith, the incident unfolded as follows:
On 09/09/13 at approximately 9:28 a.m. I was in my office located at 239 East Main St in Flippin speaking with someone on the phone. Mayor Hudson came to my office and picked up a firearm that was in my office.
I heard a loud shot and looked up and observed the southeast corner window of my office broken. Mayor Hudson stated that the firearm had went off. Mayor Hudson advised me that he was attempting to unload the firearm and that the ammunition in it had jammed.
Mayor Hudson is no stranger to controversy; in November 2011, he was arrested and charged with drinking in public, public intoxication and third-degree battery after an altercation with a man outside a local apartment complex. Hudson publicly apologized for the incident, but refused to step down from office, despite pressure from one former councilmember.
Hudson had another brush with the law in November of 2012, when he was involved in a traffic accident and cited for driving under the influence of prescription opiate hydrocodone.
The mayor pled guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge, but again refused to resign.
A 19-year-old North Carolina man described by his wife as a selfless person who “would do anything for anyone,” is dead today after showing his 11-year-old stepdaughter his new handgun, but forgetting that there was a bullet in the chamber.
Though Bryan Scott Reno had removed the magazine containing bullets from the .380 caliber handgun, the girl accidentally fired the gun, shooting Reno in the chest and killing him.
"It goes back to an untrained child given a firearm and the end result is a fatality,” said Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman. “You’ve got this child that’s going to be affected the rest of her life and carry this with her.”
Reno (pictured, with wife Pamela) was killed Friday with the gun he had purchased earlier in the same day.
“The stepfather had actually purchased a firearm yesterday from a friend,” Norman said on Saturday. “He had taken the clip out of the firearm and was looking at the gun and showing the firearm to the stepdaughter. He handed the firearm to the daughter. We don’t know if the stepfather knew there was one actually in the chamber.”
A call came in to 911 operators at 10:45 p.m. Friday from Pamela Reno, the victim’s 35-year-old wife, who had been sleeping at the time of the shooting. The Reno family lived in a mobile home at 421 Lemmons Road in Moorseboro, N.C.. They moved in a few weeks before the incident, neighbors told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.
Though an investigation into the shooting is underway, Norman does not expect charges to be filed.
Pamela Reno had been married to her husband for less than a year but described him as the love of her life.
“He wanted to better himself and better me and my kids,” she told a Cleveland County newspaper. “He did anything he could to help me. He helped my kids with their homework.”
SOURCES: Charlotte Observer, Shelby Star
A 5-year-old boy in Tennessee brought a handgun to school Thursday, and it accidentally fired in his backpack.
The boy, a kindergarten student at Westside Elementary School in Memphis, was in the cafeteria waiting for the morning bell when the weapon went off. Only one round was fired, and the bullet did not hit anybody. The child was taken into police custody after the incident.
Shelby County Schools issued a statement saying “The firearm discharged accidentally inside the child’s backpack. Nobody was injured and staff immediately took possession of the backpack.”
Although there is no sign that the boy intended to shoot anybody with the gun, the district said, “Weapons of any kind are prohibited on campuses, and this student will be disciplined in accordance with the state's zero tolerance policy.”
They continued,” The safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. Staff is trained to handle emergency situations, and all students were kept safe and calm while this matter was handled."
Parents were not notified of the incident, and some learned what happened by watching the news.
In a later statement, a district representative explained this by saying, "The district has a ParentLink system (automated calls) which is generally used for school-wide emergency situations. Because this was an isolated and controlled situation that occurred before the school day started and did not involve any individual or school-wide threat, the system was not used. Letters to parents will be going home with students this afternoon."
Concerned parent Preston Warmley stated, "We're gonna have to get together to see what we should do from this moment on because you know what you can do when you're sitting back watching it on the news but when it's happening right in your face, that's a lot."
This incident occurred just two days after a Michigan boy died upon accidentally shooting himself in the face with a gun left on the a closet floor.
Just because your favorite gun is an “antique,” does not mean you do not need a license to own it — and it does not mean that it won’t go off if it is loaded. And if that happens, it does not mean you won't be arrested. That is what happened earlier this week to Mark Reinesto, 57, of Burr Ridge, Ill.
Reinesto and a buddy were checking out an antique gun in Reinesto’s home Tuesday evening. They might or might not have known that for some reason the gun was loaded. Sure enough, one of the men dropped the weapon and the gun discharged, gut-shooting Reinesto’s pal.
The 56-year-old victim, whose name was not released by police, was taken to Adventist HInsdale Hospital with his abdominal wound. According to police, he was still awaiting surgery on Wednesday.
Police officers took Reinesto into custody in connection with the mishap. He now faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. He is also accused of unlawful possession of ammunition, which also requires a FOID card in Illinois.
The antique-gun owner was released on bond Wednesday. If convicted, he could go to jail for up to a year and pay a fine of $2,500.
Was the gun actually an “antique,” however? Or was it just old?
Burr Ridge Deputy Police Chief Marc Loftus said the gun was a .357 revolver. While the definition of what is considered an “antique” gun is often informal and varies from gun-owner to gun-owner, federal law actually specifies that to be considered “antique,” a gun must be manufactured in or before 1898.
But the .357-caliber cartridge was not developed until the 1930s. It was created as a type of ammunition capable of piercing the side of an automobile, during the heyday of freewheeling gangsters and bank robbers who would often take cover behind cars during shootouts with law enforcement.
SOURCES: Burr Ridge Patch, Chicago Sun-Times, ATF Guide
A Florida man accidentally shot himself in his left leg Tuesday evening, while he was driving with his girlfriend.
David Mederios Jr., 35, reached over his girlfriend to grab his gun from the car’s glove compartment, according to Bradenton Patch.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reported that the gun was a 1911A1 pistol.
When Mederious grabbed the firearm, its hammer was cocked back, its safety was disabled and it was loaded.
Mederios accidentally shot himself while he was handling the weapon in the car.
Police reported that he is expected to make a full recovery from the injury.
Sources: Bradenton Patch