Item: 6 April 15. Ocala, FL. “It accidentally discharged!”
Ocala, FL Police Officer Jared Forsyth has died in a hospital after being mortally wounded in a training accident during a routine semiannual firearms training exercise. Chief Greg Graham says (in video at the link, hasty transcription):
At the conclusion of our training, one of our officers was unloading his weapon and it accidentally discharged. The round ricocheted off a bench, and struck another officer, Officer Jared Forsyth, who was standing — probably 25 to 30 feet away. That’s a guess on my part.
It hit him in his arm, entered his chest… he was transported to the hospital and he didn’t survive his injuries. Out thoughts and prayers are with Officer Forsyth’s family… and with the officer involved in the shooting.
In response to a reporter’s question, a visibly crushed Graham says, “The last line of duty death we had was almost 60 years ago.” An indicator of how the guy who ND’d feels about is Graham’s request, to reporters of all people:
…to lose one officer… I just hope I don’t lose two. So, please, pray for the officers… pray for the one who didn’t survive, and pray for the one who hopefully will.
He’s onto something there. After our unit’s near-fatal ND, a thorough investigation could not determine who, on that live-fire immediate-action range at night, fired the round that penetrated a teammate’s MICH — and skull. Several of the team members thought and feared it had been them. But one guy was sure it was him. (The investigators took his statement down, but couldn’t match the physical evidence to him or anybody).
He left the unit. We didn’t make him.
He was always a drinker. And so, he drank, and smoked, and second-guessed himself to an early grave, leaving behind a devastated family as well as shocked former teammates — including the wounded guy, dealing well with his disability and possessing all his marbles, who didn’t even know the other fellow had blamed himself.
“If I knew, I’d have told him, ‘Stop beating yourself up. You did me a favor! Life is sweeter now.'”
Anyway, there’s just nothing good about the place Chief Graham and the Ocala cops are in now. Been there, done that.
Item: 4 April 15. Indianapolis. The gun did it!
Those guns! You have to watch ‘em like a hawk sometimes, or there’s no telling what mischief they’ll get up to:
Crime tape has been strung up in an area around Cavanaugh Hall on the school’s campus. The incident, which was reported as a gunshot, happened around 9:45 p.m. Friday.
Police say the officer was on patrol when his gun accidentally discharged. He was taken to Eskenazi Health, where he was listed in stable condition.
Destination of that “discharge” — Officer Friendly’s own leg.
Lee Paige, call your office.
IUPUI (Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis) is the “urban” campus co-owned and operated by IU and Purdue; given its location on 500 mugger-tempting leafy acres in downtown Indy, one can see why the cops might be quick on the trigger. One of ‘em got a little too quick, or maybe he was practicing das Gefingerpoken where he shouldn’t ought to.
Or, alternatively, we can believe what the spokesman said, and the gun just “discharged.” Like a teenager approaching Third Base for the first time, or a wayward capacitor.
Yeah, the gun did it. Keep telling yourself that, officer.
Item: 30 Mar 15, Gaffney, SC. Who’s the Turkey?
It appears [42-year-old Brian] Gilliam was in a deep ravine on the property and was attempting to climb out of it on unstable rocks when he slipped,” Fowler said. “The muzzle-loaded shotgun discharged, striking him in the right arm and shoulder.”
After being shot, Fowler said Gilliam was able to walk to a clearing, where he was found.
“My investigation indicates Gilliam and a friend had trespassed onto the property together Friday evening to illegally hunt turkeys but later became separated. A flashlight was located in the on position nearby on a tree stump pointing upward. It appears Gilliam used the light to alert his friend of his location,” Fowler said.
Gilliam died of hypovolemic shock, which is to say, he bled out. His poaching pal wins the not-quite-a-stand-up-guy award. If the friend bugged out, how did poor Gilliam get found? Another news outlet explains:
Coroner Dennis Fowler says the land owner notified authorities Saturday that he had found a body, who was identified as 42-year-old Brian James Gilliam of Gaffney.
Wandering around in the dark, on someone else’s property, with your weapon off safe. (If it had a safety, it must have been a modern muzzleloader — vintage ones depend on the operator’s common sense). At some point it’s more of an “inevitable” than an “accident.”
If you’re planning on hunting like that, don’t. Call us, we’ll send you a jeezly turkey.
29 Mar 15, Dayton, OH: Hold my beer and… hey, this gun does work!
So, he was “testing” the gun when it jammed. And then…
Police responded to Miami Valley Hospital around 2 p.m. Saturday to check on the condition of a 36-year-old patient with a gunshot wound.
The patient told police he bought a handgun for $150 earlier in the day and wanted to test it to make sure it worked. He said he went to the back of Norris Drive, jumped a fence, and then walked into the woods near a creek. He told officers he wanted to get away from people so he could test the gun.
He said he loaded the gun, but at one point it jammed and when he tried to get it unstuck, he accidentally shot himself. He told police it startled him and he threw the gun in the creek. The victim said he ran to his sister-in-law’s house nearby and she called his wife. His wife then drove him to the hospital.
One suspects the cops didn’t get the whole story. They didn’t find the gun where Deadeye Dick said he threw it. Thus far, he does not seem to have been charged.
The Gun Safety Rules: not just a good idea, you know?
29 Mar 15, Council Bluffs, IA: Who You Gonna Blame, Me or that Lying Holster?
One suspects this was the well-known combination of Serpa and striker-fired gun, but the story doesn’t make it clear.
Marvin Naggatz, 21, was treated and later released at Mercy Hospital for a gunshot wound to his hand, Council Bluffs Police said in a press release.
Naggatz was in a parking lot on the 2300 block of West Broadway at 4:30 p.m. Sunday when he moved his holster. The .40-caliber handgun discharged, hitting Naggatz in the hand.
How do you “move your holster” in such a way as to discharge your firearm? Something’s wrong with holster, handgun, or handler, and we know which one Occam’s Razor says it is.
ITEM: 30 Mar 15, Virginia: Legal Guns Threaten Troopers, says Guv… About Cop Killed by Felons’ Negligence
Virginia Governor Terry McAulliffe, one of those guys who “supports the 2nd Amendment, but,” in the specific case of but the 2nd Amendment part, recently vetoed a bipartisan bill that would pre-empt some local anti-gun ordinances. (McAuliffe, a committed gun banner, has vetoed 14 pro gun bills this season). His reason? For the Troopers.
I veto Senate Bill 1137, which … ignores long-established firearm safety procedures and could endanger law enforcement officers in the line of duty. In 2006, a State Trooper was killed while responding to a vehicle crash. As the crashed vehicle was being loaded on a wrecker, the loaded rifle discharged killing the trooper. No one at the crash scene knew that the loaded rifle was in the vehicle.
In using the trooper as a political football, McAuliffe didn’t even give him the slight respect of using his name. His name was Kevin C. Manion. He was 27 and had been a trooper for under three years.
He also makes it sound like the person whose negligent handling of the firearm led to Manion’s death — we, unlike McAuliffe, are not too ennobled to say his name — was some random citizen with a gun in a car and bad gun safety practices. He doesn’t exactly lie, but he misleads. (Well, he is a politician, one who became a multimillionaire via renewable-energy rackets. Sure he lies).
Here are the facts on the Manion accident, from the Officer Down Memorial Page (a great resource for keeping alive the memory of cops who die on duty, whether by mishap or crime):
The automobile accident occurred when a pickup truck went into a ditch and overturned. During the accident investigation a rifle inside the pickup truck discharged as the pickup was being moved. The round struck Trooper Manion in the chest in an area not protected by his vest.
Trooper Manion succumbed to his wound after being flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax County.
The truck’s two occupants were arrested at the scene on alcohol related charges stemming from the automobile accident. Investigation revealed that the rifle had been stolen earlier in the day during a residential burglary. The driver of the pickup truck was subsequently charged with second degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny of a firearm, and daytime breaking and entering. He plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in December 2006 and was subsequently sentenced to 10 years.
Not really the story McAuliffe told, was it? Gee, turns out it wasn’t Suzy Selfdefender and it wasn’t Elmer Fudd on his way to thin the Dominion’s herd of Sylvilagus floridianus either. It was a couple of career criminals who were already convicted felons.
Our shock knows no bounds, eh.
The responsible dude’s still in prison (well, given the weak sisters who populate parole boards, maybe he isn’t, but he should be) but McAuliffe blames you, (and Suzy, and Elmer), not that guy. If VA gets felon voting, he should have that constituency all locked up. (No pun in– ah, you guys will never believe that)
Item: 2 Mar 15, West York, PA: They’re Calling it an Accident
The police called it an accident, and after an autopsy and looking over the range video, they can’t say the shooting range death of 22-year-old Keith Twiford wasn’t. Twiford rented a 9mm pistol and bought ammo, and fired over 50 rounds. No one else was present inside the range, and the camera couldn’t see through the inter-stall partitions, when Twiford suffered a single shot from that firearm to his head.
An autopsy was inconclusive. Twiford did not appear to have a history of depression; he was about to start a new job; and the range has a good, safety-oriented reputation with the local police.
Our local ranges that provide rental firearms have strict rules about new shooters and non-members with rental guns: generally, they have to have one-on-one supervision by a trained safety officer or instructor. This is because a couple of them have had suicides, and the news of a range suicide often generates a flurry of wannabe copycats. Those precautions, of course, are not advertised as such, and they have an additional benefit of ensuring safe practices.
We bet the range owner in West York wished he had something like this in place.
And, if the police can’t make the call, neither can we, on why young Keith Twiford, with a life spread out before him, died. So we’re going to give the young man and his family the same benefit of the doubt the cops did: it was an accident.