The first report was dry and brief, but was enough to let anyone know that something had come unglued seriously:
Officials say a man has been fatally shot in an apparent accident during a concealed carry class at a gun shop in Ohio.
The Clermont County sheriff says the unidentified man was shot in the neck around 1 p.m. Saturday and died at the scene. There were about 10 people in the concealed carry class when the shooting occurred at KayJay Gun Shop in Amelia, about 20 miles east of Cincinnati.
According to the gun shop’s website, the class taught basic pistol safety, gave attendees range time and reviewed Ohio’s gun laws.
The first story neither identified the victim, nor explained anything about how this happened. More detail was soon available on Fox 19:
The owner of a gun shop was accidentally shot and killed during a concealed carry class in Amelia, the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office confirms.
Crews responded to the the Kay Jay Gun Shop on Lindale-Mt. Holly Rd. around 1 p.m. on Saturday for reports of a shooting.
Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg said James E. Baker, 64, was shot in the neck after a class participant discharged a handgun while practicing weapon malfunction drills, striking Baker who was sitting in an adjacent room.
Investigators said efforts to resuscitate Baker were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Something went seriously wrong in that class.
If the Four Rules (or however many are in your version) had been followed assiduously, nobody gets shot. A firearm has zero tolerance for inattention to detail.
An updated story described neighbors’ and friends’ feelings of loss (warning, autoplay video with loud ad. The mute button is your friend):
Baker’s gun shop offers a long list of training courses to teach people to use guns like rifles and pistols the correct way.
Now, many in this tight-knit community say they are devastated knowing he won’t be here to do that anymore.
“He’s just a great guy, I mean, I can’t believe it happened, it’s hard to believe, just a really good guy,” Fritz said. “I’m going to miss him because he was a good neighbor.”
We also talked with a man who lives just a few houses down from where it happened.
He told us Baker gave him his very first job, calling him a great boss and friend.
Investigators aren’t saying what type of gun was used or if any charges will be filed.
(Warning, autoplay video again). The Investigation continues, with more details trickling out.
In a media release, the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office said, “Investigators discovered that a class participant discharged a handgun while practicing weapon malfunction drills, striking Baker who was sitting in an adjacent room. Efforts to resuscitate Baker were unsuccessful and Baker was pronounced at 3:12 p.m.”
Baker regularly conducted gun training sessions.
A friend and fellow Vietnam-era veteran took a session a couple years back and said Baker was careful and experienced.
“When I took the class, nobody had a loaded weapon,” said Dennis Cooper. “I mean, you could bring your own weapon, but it had to be cleared.”
A friend at a nearby gun shop didn’t want to be identified, but said Baker had close law enforcement connections and helped to build area SWAT units.
He seemed stunned at how this went down.
Immediately after it happened, a 911 caller told the dispatcher, “We were doing malfunction misfires and we have plastic bullets and we just, I just, we just double checked the bullets and there was a live round in one of the guns and it went through the wall and shot the owner in the neck.”
Those who knew Baker feel the loss deeply.
A father and his young son placed a potted flower at the property gate Monday.
We’re told Baker was a Marine sniper in Vietnam about 45 years ago and let police in the area use his target range to recertify as they must do each year.
We wonder why they were doing malfunction misfire drills during a basic CCW class.