Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Friday, November 30, 2012

5-year old Bronx girl struck by stray bullet

Hailey Dominguez, age 5
5-year old Hailey Dominguez was almost to the door of her Bronx, New York home, having just returned from a baby shower with her family, when a group of men began shooting.  One stray bullet hit Hailey in the abdomen, piercing her lung.

Hailey is in a medically-induced coma in the hospital, but is expected to pull through.

The shooter has not been captured.

From an article:

Hailey Dominguez was shot just outside her family's apartment around 1 a.m., according to police.  
The bullet pierced her lung. 
'It passed through her stomach - thank God it missed her spine,' Edwin Roman, 23, told the New York Daily News. 
Roman is the boyfriend of Hailey's mother, Gloria Miranda. 
Hailey, her mother, and brother, had just gotten out of a cab when the shots went off.
An unidentified family member told reporters that Hailey was almost to the door of the family's fifth-floor walk-up when a group of men appeared around the corner with guns drawn. 
'We were crying, not her,' said her sister, Keyla, 15. 'She’s a very brave person.' 
She had been dancing at the family friend's baby shower and was still wearing her party dress.  
'She likes to dance,' Roman said. 'She's a little ballerina.' 
'I heard two shots and I stayed inside, I didn't see who did the shooting,' neighbor Jose Gonzalez said. 
Neighbor Carmen Rosario told the New York Post she called 911 when she heard the shots. 
When she opened her door she saw the little girl clutching herself.  
'She wasn't crying,' she said. 'I sat next to her for a few minutes and right away the officers came. The officers opened her coat and they saw blood and they took off.' 
She was immediately rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, then transferred to Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in Washington Heights where her condition is listed as stable. 
She is still fighting a fever, and has been placed in a medically-induced coma. 
'I don't know why this happened,' said her father, Jonathan Dominguez. 'She's going to be okay, thank God.' 
Hailey's family was not the intended target.  
Police are investigating but no arrests have been made. 

Bullets don't know when to stop.

5-year old Texas boy nearly killed by stray bullet from gun range

A mother in Nevada, Texas, had just strapped in her 5-year old son, Parkin Jones, and was backing out the car when a bullet shattered the back window.  Glass injured her son, but the bullet narrowly missed him. 

The bullet had been fired by a gun range, located only 100 yards away.

From an article and news article:
“It was a loud pop,” she recalled. “I had turned around thinking my tire had popped – one of the kids had maybe left a toy under my car. I put the car in park and got out and was like, ‘Oh my God!’” 
Her son, Parkin, was covered in glass and screaming, but apparently unhurt.
“I’m like, ‘There is a bullet in my car!’” she said. 
A stray bullet blew out the back window, inches from where she just strapped in her little boy.
Jones said it came from her neighbor, the Armadillo Gun Range, which is about 100 yards to the east in the 14000 block of County Road 489. 
The line of fire at the range is in her direction, though rounds usually penetrate a large dirt berm. 
“This is one bullet hole right here,” Jones said while pointing to the fractured siding on her house. 
She showed News 8 four bullet holes scattered on the side of her home facing the range. 
Over the summer, Jones said the range owners took action by adding dirt and building the berm even higher to prevent stray bullets from flying over. But after the incident on Thursday, her relatives say Collin County deputies told them there doesn’t appear to be any criminal intent, so this is likely a civil matter. 
“He said they can’t shut them down unless someone ended up passing away over it or gets killed,” said Dylan Edwards, Jones’ brother. 
“As a mother, it’s unbearable to think about,” Krisha said. “I cried, and I cried, and I cried and I held him. This is dangerous. To every family around here, this is dangerous.” 
An employee of the gun range asked us to leave the property Thursday afternoon and the owners did not immediately return a phone call left by News 8. 
No licensing agency regulates gun ranges in Texas, but the Collin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. The Collin County Fire Marshal said the business has a proper Certificate of Occupancy.
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14-year old Alaskan girl injured by two kids with Airsoft pellet gun

A 14-year old girl in Juneau, Alaska, was injured in the face by two boys, ages 11 and 12, using an Airsoft pellet gun.

From an article:

JPD spokesman Lt. David Campbell said the girl suffered a minor injury — swelling near her cheek. 
“That’s where she was hit,” Campbell said in a phone interview. “I don’t know if it was intentional or not.” 
The girl declined medical treatment when contacted by police, Campbell said. 
An 11- and 12-year old boy were suspected of shooting the girl with the BB gun, but the families involved did not want to press charges, Campbell said. 
“It looks like the parents of both groups are handling it,” Campbell said. 
Campbell said the kids all lived in the same neighborhood where the incident took place, the 5900 block of Churchill Way. 
The incident was reported to police at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. More details about how the girl was injured were not immediately available. 
Police took the gun at the request of the parents, who asked that it be destroyed, Campbell said.

Realistic pellet guns aren't just harmless toys.

18-year old young man tries to rob 12-year old Maryland boy with toy gun

A 12-year old boy in Severn, Maryland, was approached by an 18-year old male, who then tried to rob the boy using a toy pistol.  The boy fled the scene.

From an article:

Dejon Arnold, 18, of the 8200 block of Autumn Lake Court in Severn, was charged with robbery, theft less than $1,000 and second-degree assault, according to online court records. 
Officers responded to the 8200 block of Clearwater Court at 4:45 p.m. and spoke with the victim and his father. The boy told officers that he had been walking in the area of Clearwater Court and Indian Drive at 3:15 p.m. when Arnold approached him and displayed what looked like a handgun, police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said. 
Arnold demanded the victim's coat. The boy refused and then fled; he was not injured. 
Police were able to find and arrest Arnold. Officers determined the gun used in the incident to be fake, Mulcahy said.

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12-year old New York boy uses realistic pellet gun to rob woman

Four boys surrounded a 19-year old college student and demanded her purse, in Syracuse, New York.  One of the boys, age 12, threatened her with a gun.  When police caught him, with the gun and purse, they found that the gun was a realistic-looking pellet gun.

From an article:

Police say the 19-year-old victim was approached by four juveniles outside LeMoyne College Bookstore and Cam's pizza on Salt Springs Road at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. 
Police say the juveniles surrounded the woman and demanded her purse. When she refused, police say the 12-year-old suspect pulled out the pellet gun and threatened her. 
The juveniles were apprehended a short time later. Police recovered the purse and pellet gun used in the crime. 
The 12-year-old is being held in a juvenile detention center and is scheduled to appear in Family Court. The other juveniles were turned over to their parents.

Pellet guns aren't harmless toys.

8-year old California girl hit by stray bullet from lethal shooting

Two men got into an argument, in Madera, California.  One of the men, who was seated in a vehicle, got out of the car, pulled out a gun, and started firing at the other, killing him.

One of the bullets missed the intended target and instead hit an 8-year old girl who was walking with her uncle down the street.

From an article and news video:

Investigators say at around 7 p.m., the suspect and victim were arguing in front of the victim's home. The suspect was in his car during the argument. He then got out of his car and fired several rounds at the victim, hitting him in the chest. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. A man who was standing near the victim was shot in the foot. 
“Quite a distance away from that shooting was an eight-year-old girl walking with her uncle. She was struck in the arm, a good 40-yards from our shooter,” explained Madera Police Chief Steve Frasier.

Bullets don't know when to stop.

UPDATE (12/2/12):  According to another article, the two men were both 18 years old, and the shooting was gang-related.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

17-year old Florida boy shot dead by paranoid legal gun owner over loud music

Jordan Davis, age 17
A group of teens were at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, on their way home from the mall, when they pulled up next to a man, 45-year old Michael Dunn, and his girlfriend.  Dunn complained that the music coming from the teens' car was too loud.  They got into a confrontation, and Dunn claims he thought he saw the barrel of a gun and was afraid the teens were gang members.  He then pulled out his own loaded, concealed handgun and opened fire 8 or 9 times, then fled the scene.

17-year old Jordan Davis was struck and killed.

No guns were found in the teens' car.  No gang affiliation has been found.

Dunn was later arrested at his home.

From an article:

According to the statement from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Dunn told authorities that he had asked the teens to turn down loud music from their vehicle adjacent to his, as he waited while his girlfriend, who was returning with him from a wedding, went inside the gas station to make a purchase.
Dunn told police he felt threatened by the response from the teens, the statement said.
Dunn's attorney, Robin Lemonidis, told CNN Monday that Dunn told police that he reacted after having seen a gun barrel in the window of the teens' car and after hearing a profanity-laced string of threats against him and his girlfriend while the teens motioned they were opening the door.
Lemonidis said that was when Dunn reached for his gun and opened fire on the vehicle. She added that, "When all the evidence has been flushed out, I believe that it will be extremely clear that Mr. Dunn acted as any responsible firearm-owner would have under the same circumstances."
Eight or nine shots were fired at the teens' car, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office statement added.
There were no guns found inside the teens' car, the statement said.
Lemonidis said her client and his girlfriend left the scene after the shooting, fearing that they had encountered gang members and that more would follow.
The couple went to a local hotel for the night, and saw the news the next morning that Davis had died. They returned to Dunn's home in Brevard County, where local police arrested him Saturday on an out-of-county warrant.
Dunn was arraigned Monday afternoon, and Lemonidis said she entered a not-guilty plea on her client's behalf.

From a related article:
But who is the man police believe killed in anger? On his Linked profile Michael Dunn lists himself as the Vice President of Software Development of Dunn & Dunn Systems Incorporated - a computer company in Vero Beach. On the site he lists the company as being the award-winning makers of a computer software called SpiritPOS. He also says he holds a private pilot license for Single Engine Land and Sea. .... 
"Your worst fears come true when the doctor comes in the room with the police officer and the chaplain," said Ron Davis. "And my heart just sank." When they told him his son was dead, Davis couldn't believe it, until he saw Jordan for himself. "And they said this is a murder investigation and they didn't want me to touch his body. And I said 'are you kidding?' And I hugged my son and I kissed my son on the forehead." 
Davis said his son, Jordan, and his friends were heading back from the mall. He said Jordan was in the backseat of the car when he was shot. "I told him that I loved him, and 'Hey, have a great time at the mall and I'll see you when I get home from work.'" And he said 'OK dad, take care. Have a great day!" Davis said the murder has left him with a "hole in his heart," and he wants no revenge on the man who took his son's life. 
"If the person can look in my face and tell me why, that'll be enough for me," said Davis. "I don't believe a life for a life because taking that person's life is not going to bring my son back."

UPDATE (12/28/12):  The shooter, Michael Dunn, is being charged and has pleaded "not guilty."  His lawyer spoke on his behalf, stating, incredibly, "It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances."

UPDATE (12/29/12):  Dunn has a conceal carry permit, and claims he saw the end of a shotgun in the teens' car, even though no weapon was found there.  From an article:
At that point, she says one of the teenagers told Dunn he was dead. "And that's when the guy in the back seat raised the barrel of a shotgun over the rim of the window," said Lemonidis. "At that point, he just snapped into self protection mode." 
Dunn's attorney claims that's when her client reached for a gun he had in the glove compartment of his car, loaded it, and fired. "Firing at the car, because they're showing him a gun, and he can't see their hands," she said. "And he doesn't know. They're about to blast him in the face with a shotgun, as far as he knows." 
She says Dunn then drove away, not realizing he had hit anyone. The next morning, she said Dunn heard on the news someone was dead. He drove to his home in Satellite Beach, and turned himself in. "He did what any responsible firearms owner would do," said Lemonidis. 
JSO says no drugs and no guns were found in the teens' SUV. 
Action News asked Lemonidis why Dunn didn't call police. She said her client was more comfortable turning himself in at a familiar place. 
She also said her client was legally carrying the weapon. He had a concealed weapons permit. And she said Dunn knows guns. He had been around them his whole life. He was in the military, and frequently practices at a local firing range.
UPDATE (12/5/12):  Dunn's lawyer plans to build his defense around Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which has come under fire for allowing murderers to go free, and gives average gun owners more rights to shoot than even law enforcement or the military.  Here is a good article from HuffingtonPost.com.

UPDATE (12/5/12):  Jordan Davis's father, Ron Davis, has buried his son and has now taken up a public stance against Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.  From an article:
Jordan Davis and his father, Ron Davis
"The first goal is to get Stand Your Ground repealed because that law emboldens people to carry firearms and to use them if somebody looks at them sideways," Ron Davis said. .... 
"I shouldn't be able to end your life, end the life of your children, end the life of your family members, just because I misinterpret your actions," said Davis, a Jacksonville resident and retiree from Delta Airlines. .... 
Davis told his son's classmates and friends during a meeting on Wednesday at Jacksonville's Wolfson High School that he would begin his campaign with a candlelight vigil for Jordan Davis on December 15. 
Wearing a white shirt with his son's picture on the front and the words, "Kill Guns, Not Kids," Davis said he wanted to show the students how he planned to cope with his grief to show them how they could deal with theirs. 
"Kids, especially kids, want to lash out," he said. "I want to tell them, 'Look, if anybody is going to lash out, it's going to be me. I'm the parent. ... If I'm not lashing out, take direction from me.'" 
He has started a Facebook page, "R.I.P Jordan Davis." It now has 40,000 members and the number has been growing rapidly. 
"This is going to be a long fight, and I'm in it for the long haul," Davis said.
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

9 year old Wisconsin boy shot by 11 year old brother

What is an 11 year old doing unloading a handgun? A 9 year old Wisconsin boy was shot and injured by his 11 year old brother:
A 9-year-old Spring Valley, Wis., boy is in the hospital after being accidentally shot by his 11-year-old brother on Saturday, officials said.
The boy, whose identity has not been released, was shot in the leg about 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Spring Valley in western Wisconsin, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.
The boy's 11-year-old brother was believed to be unloading a handgun when it accidentally went off, wounding the 9-year-old, officials said.
The boy was airlifted to Regions Hospital. His condition is unknown.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

17-year old California boy shot to death in argument

In July, a 17-year old boy in Woodland, California, was shot to death during an argument.  The shooter, Marcelino Michel Jr., age 28, fled.

From an article:

Witnesses told police that several gun shots were heard in the area around 12:30 a.m. Officers arrived to the apartment complex to find Martinez in the parking lot suffering from a severe gunshot wound to the head, said Letamendi. He was transported to UC Davis Medical Center were he died from his injuries at 3:26 a.m., Letamendi said.
Officers believe an argument inside an apartment in the complex lead to the deadly shooting. Letamendi said the handgun Michel allegedly used to kill the boy has not been recovered.

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17-year old California boy shot in front yard

A 17-year old boy was in his front yard with friends when someone walked up to him and shot him in the chest.  The shooter fled.  Motive is unknown.

Luckily, the victim is in stable condition.

From an article and news video:

According to Sgt. Steve Sexton of Woodland police, the 17-year-old victim was with friends and family in his front yard when the suspect walked over and shot him in the chest.
The victim was immediately rushed to Woodland Memorial Hospital by a private vehicle and then transferred to UCD Medical Center.
The victim did not sustain life threatening injuries, Sexton said.

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16-year old Baton Rouge boy shot in leg

From an article, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana:
A sixteen-year-old was shot in the leg near Old Hammond Highway on Boulevard. 
Baton Rouge Police says the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. 
We will update the story as more information becomes available.
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

13-year old Tennessee boy shot at gun range

A 13-year old boy was at a firing range with his family in Cheatham County, Tennessee, when he was unintentionally shot in the abdomen while retrieving targets, when someone moved some guns on a bench and one of them was unintentionally discharged.  Luckily the wound was not life-threatening.

From an article:

The boy, whose identity and hometown was not released, was shot with a .22 single action revolver, said Randy Cromer, who oversees the CMWA.
He was taken by Life Flight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Cromer said the boy was there with his father and another family member. They were checking on their targets when the shooting occurred.
He said several firearms were on a bench when a woman moved them and that's when the revolver discharged, hitting the boy in the lower abdomen.
Cromer said the injuries appear to be non-life threatening.
He added that several people were at the firing range when the incident occurred.
The incident is being investigated.
The firing range is on Headquarters Road off Griffintown Road in the Petway Road.

Aren't shooting ranges supposed to be places of increased gun safety?

16-year old Baton Rouge boy unintentionally shoots self in face

In July, a 16-year old boy unintentionally shot himself in the face, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

From an article:

He said a 16-year-old boy was either handling a gun or being handed by a gun by another person when it went off, hitting the teen in the face. 
A family member took him to a nearby hospital. Kelly said he had non-life threatening injuries, and they were continuing to investigate the matter.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

17-year old boy shot and killed in Milwaukee

A 17-year old boy was found shot to death in a vehicle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

From an article and video:


Officials say a 17-year-old Greenfield boy was found shot to death inside the vehicle near 32nd and Mitchell just before midnight.
The motive for the shooting is not clear — and there are no suspects in custody.
Saturday, yellow police tape still clung to the steps of Carmen High School of Science, which is across the street from where the shooting occurred. The victim, whom police have yet to identify, was found in a black SUV at the southwest corner of the intersection.
One neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said he lives about a block from the shooting scene and noticed the sirens outside.
“About 20 minutes later, a minivan pulled up and the squad moved out the way,” he said, “I guess it was the morgue, they just started going through the truck and pulled the body out.”
Another neighbor, Jason Dahlman, lives half a block from the shooting scene. He says he didn’t notice the crime scene.
“It’s a little strange, I think, to find out that right outside our door, that was going on,” he said, “Yeah, it’s a little unsettling.”
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17-year old boy and 18-year old girl shot in Minnesota basement by homeowner

Haile Kifer, age 18
A 17-year old boy, Nicholas Brady, and his18-year old cousin, Haile Kifer, were shot in the basement of a home in Little Falls, Minnesota, by the homeowner.  The owner claimed self-defense and that they had broken into the home.

But the Sheriff seems to have doubts about the claim.  The man was arrested for suspicion of murder, because of shooting the teens multiple times, execution-style, and not reporting the shooting for a day.

From an article:


Police responded to a home around 1 p.m. Friday in the 14000 block of Elm Street, north of Little Falls, on reports of suspicious activity. 
Upon arrival, police were met by Byron David Smith, 64, who told them he had shot and killed two people who were breaking into his home the day before around noon. 
Nicholas Brady, age 17
Deputies found the bodies of a 17-year-old boy and an 18-year-old girl in the basement of the home. 
"A person has every right to defend themselves and their homes, even employing deadly force if necessary," said Michel Wetzel, Morrison County sheriff. 
But the sheriff said circumstances of this incident led deputies to believe Smith went beyond that point. 
Wetzel told the St. Cloud Times that Smith had no history with the sheriff’s office and that he had no information about whether the teenagers and Smith knew each other. 
The identities of the two teens and their exact cause of death will be released by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. 
Smith was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, with charges expected to be filed Monday.
UPDATE (11/26/12):  At what point does "self-defense" of one's home become overkill?  The two unarmed teens were shot execution style, multiple times, and without warning, though they had broken into the home.  Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin Haile Kifer, 18.  Here is a good write-up of the details of the shooting and discussion of the ramifications.

(a related article, with photos of the shooter, the home, and the two teens)
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Friday, November 23, 2012

16-year old Georgia teen shot in drive-by

Two teens were walking in Albany, Georgia, when someone in a passing car shot at them.  One of the teens, age 16, was hit twice, but will recover.

From an article:

Police say a 16-year-old was shot twice.  
One  bullet went into the leg and the other in the buttocks. 
The victim has been taken to Phoebe Putney Hospital. 
The victim was walking on Shadowlawn with another teenager, when a red car drove by the two teens and someone inside the vehicle fired the shots. 
No arrests have been made at this time and police are still on the scene investigating.

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Two Ohio teens arrested for shooting in Toledo

A man was shot in the buttocks in Toledo.  When officers responded, they pursued two teen suspects, one of which dropped a gun in the chase, the other trades shots with the police officer before being caught.

From an article:

Neither the officer nor the suspect was hit, and no injuries were reported. Police on Thursday night arrested two teenage male suspects believed to be involved in a Nicholas Street shooting. 
The Toledo Police Department received reports just before 7:30 p.m. Thursday of a person shot in the buttocks on the 500 block of Nicholas Street. Lt. Mark King said the person was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio, for a nonlife threatening injury. His name was not released. 
A nearby police car heard the shooting report, and officers saw two people walking down an alley off Nicholas Street, Mr. King said. 
Officers decided to investigate the two people, and when one officer got out of the car the two suspects ran in separate directions. 
One suspect was lost in the darkness and dropped or threw a gun as he jumped a fence; police later found and arrested that suspect. Mr. King said he did not know where the arrest occurred. 
An officer chased the other suspect for about 60 feet. That suspect then stopped, turned around, and fired one shot at the officer, Mr. King said. The round struck a garage on the alley off Nicholas Street. The officer, whose name was not released, immediately fired one shot and did not hit the suspect, Mr. King said. The suspect started to run again, the officer lost sight of him in the darkness, and then put out a description of him. 
A second police crew heard the shooter's description and saw someone running who matched it. The officer’s police car slid over wet grass and hit a fence in the yard of a house on the 500 block of Carlton Street. Mr. King said the police car hit the fence, which hit the suspect and knocked the suspect down. 
Police officers found a gold-colored gun and two live rounds and one spent round underneath the suspect, Mr. King said.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

San Antonio teen shot but refuses to cooperate

A boy in his late teens was found, shot, after pulling into a convenience store in San Antonio, Texas, but refuses to give any information about the shooting.  Police suspect a drug deal gone wrong.

From an article:

Sgt. Ramiro Juarez said the shooting victim, who is believed to be in his late teens, was seen about 8:45 a.m. as he was falling out of the driver's seat of a Honda passenger car in the parking lot of Gibbs Mart on the 7100 block of Gibbs Sprawl Road. 
A Good Samaritan came to his aid, and when police and paramedics arrived, the teen refused to say his name. He was not carrying ID, and the vehicle he was driving is registered to a woman, Juarez said. 
Police said the teen also refused to say where the incident occurred or who shot him. 
Juarez said it appears as though the shooting may have been the result of a drug deal gone bad because officers discovered drugs on the shooting victim and inside the Honda passenger car he was driving.

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4-year old North Carolina boy shot in head during home invasion

4-year old Jose Santiso Vargas was in his trailer home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, when someone broke into his home and tried to get into his room, then shot through the door, striking the boy in the head.  Jose's father, a migrant worker, chased off the invader.

Jose underwent surgery and likely will survive.

From an article:

Jose spent most of last week in intensive care at UNC Hospital and was in stable condition Thursday morning. His head was wrapped in gauze and bandages, and nurses were doing their best to make sure his frail body stays comfortable at the beginning of what is likely a long recovery.  
Investigators say someone tried to force his way into the home off Plantation Lane outside Clinton about 10:30 p.m. Friday. When the man couldn't make entry into a bedroom, he fired into the door and the bullet hit the boy. 
Jose's father chased the gunman, who jumped into a waiting vehicle and fled. 

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

12-year old Oklahoma boy gets family gun and shoots 11-year old sister

Near Shawnee, Oklahoma, a 12-year old boy and his 11-year old sister were playing with their family's unsecured, loaded handgun when the boy unintentionally shot his sister in the stomach.

From an article:

Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office tells KRMG the shooting happened at a Twin Lakes home near Shawnee. 
The girl and her 12-year-old brother were playing with a handgun when the brother accidentally shot his sister in the stomach.  
She was flown to a hospital in Oklahoma City and her condition is unknown.  Sheriff's office said the brother wasn't harmed during the shooting. 
According to another article, the girl was in critical condition and entering surgery.  Their parents were not home at the time of the shooting, but rather driving home from work.  The gun was a small-caliber handgun, and the boy did not know it was loaded.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

13-year old Florida girl shot and killed on school bus by 15-year old boy

Lourdes Guzman, age 13
What are kids with guns doing on school buses? A 13 year old Florida girl was shot and killed by a fellow student while riding the school bus this morning. From an article:
A 13-year-old girl who was shot on a school bus Tuesday morning has died, and a male student is being held for questioning, Miami-Dade police said. The suspect’s age was not made public.
The victim, a student at Miami's Palm Glades Preparatory Academy, had been airlifted to Miami Children's Hospital from the scene of the shooting. She was on a private school bus that was en route to three different schools when the incident happened, Javier Baez, spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said.
"They were able to immediately determine that the shooting occurred inside the bus, and that the alleged shooter was also inside the bus," Miami-Dade Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said at a press conference Tuesday. "He was immediately taken into custody. He was detained, placed in a police car. We were able to recover the firearm."
From another article:

Miami-Dade Police have charged 15-year-old Jordyn Alexander Howe of Homestead with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm in the death of Lourdes Guzman, who was airlifted to Miami Children's Hospital but did not survive. 
According to the arrest affidavit, Howe pulled a gun from his backpack and began displaying it on the bus. He then fired it once, striking Guzman just before 7 a.m. 
Howe was taken into custody and the gun was recovered on scene when first responders arrived at the scene near SW 296 Street and SW 137 Avenue in Homestead.
Further information from another article reveals more about this shooting incident:
Detective Roy Rutland said Jordyn Alexander Howe has been charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm in the death of Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus, 13. Rutland said through the course of their investigation and questioning of a “remorseful” Howe, it was determined that the shooting was accidental. Howe, who is a student at Somerset Academy Silver Palms in Homestead, will be charged as a juvenile.
“Obviously based on the charge manslaughter and based on the investigation and the evidence and based on interviews we conducted with him, it does appear to be an accident,” said Det. Rutland. ”I can assure you there was a coomprehensive interview done regarding that gone and its whereabouts and where it originated and based on what we’re hearing it doesn’t appear that anyone else will be charged at this time.”

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

UPDATE (11/23/12):  From a follow-up article:


“How did it happen? How did he have it on him? How did nobody notice?” asked the girl’s mother, who identifies herself on Facebook as Ady DeJesus. “I want answers myself.”
DeJesus said her daughter wanted to be a lawyer, was responsible and good at school.
The boy was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He waived his right to appear in court Wednesday morning and will remain in a juvenile detention center. He is not being identified by The Associated Press because of his age. 

ADDENDUM (11/23/12):  An interesting article that focuses on this case, calling upon the governor of Florida to repeal the law forbidding pediatricians from discussing guns and gun safety.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gun, knife, and drugs found in Kentucky middle school

Acting on tips, officials searched the Moore Traditional Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky.  They found in the lockers a gun, knife, and drugs.

From an article:

Purvis said of the eventful day, "Somebody had a gun." 
A tip came into the school, a search followed and a gun was found inside a locker.
JCPS spokesperson Christi Lanier-Robinson said she's not sure whether the gun was loaded. 
Nicholas remembered, "I was in third period and we got a message on the intercom saying, ‘Freeze,' so I thought they were just searching the hallways like usual." 
"Freeze," Nicholas said, is code for students to stay where they are. 
She said students are used to searches with dogs, possibly for drugs. This freeze notification about a gun took much longer. 
Lanier-Robinson said that was because a second tip came in leading to a second search and a second weapon. 
"The kids came in and said the school had been on lockdown and that they had found a gun and a knife and drugs in the school," recalled parent Dawn Ludwick. 
Ludwick is upset about the way she was notified, "I didn't get an E-mail and I didn't get a text message." 
Ludwick and other parents found out in a letter that was sent home with students after school. 
Lanier-Robinson said each school has its own notification system. While some JCPS schools have immediate notifications, others like Moore choose to send a letter home to parents. School leaders apparently believed that was enough because the students in question were apprehended and the situation was under control. 
Ludwick contends it was not enough, saying, "The moment that the drugs and the weapons came into the school, that's an unsafe environment for absolutely anybody that walks into that school."

The article didn't mention who had the weapons or drugs, or where they came from.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Two small children injured by shotgun during dispute in Missouri

A domestic dispute broke out between a husband and wife in their home in Joplin, Missouri. A third person got involved, and the husband and third person fought over a loaded shotgun.  The gun went off, and pellets hit two small children, a 2-year old girl and 4-year old boy.  

Luckily, the wounds do not appear life-threatening.


From an article:

Capt. Derek Walrod of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting came to light when a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were brought to the emergency room of Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital in Carthage with shotgun pellet wounds. 
Walrod said sheriff’s deputies were called to the hospital at 11:20 a.m. and learned that the shooting had taken place at a residence in Brooklyn Heights. 
“It was determined this was the result of a domestic dispute between a husband and wife,” Walrod said. “Somehow, a third party got involved, the father of the wife.” 
He said a struggle for control of a shotgun ensued between the husband and the father of the woman and the gun discharged, striking the children. 
“It’s my understanding the injuries to the children are not life-threatening,” Walrod said.
But the children were flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Springfield after receiving initial treatment at the hospital in Carthage. 
Both the husband and the father of the woman were in custody Monday afternoon pending the filing of domestic assault charges. Their names have yet to be released.
UPDATE (11/23/12):   The father, 27-year old Kenton Cowgill Jr., is being charged with 6 felony charges for the shooting.  From an article:

The Jasper County prosecutor’s office filed six charges Tuesday against Kenton Cowgill Jr., 27, after an altercation with Mark L. Wittenmeyer, 48. 
According to Jasper County sheriff’s deputies, the fight took place when Wittenmeyer confronted Cowgill after an alleged domestic assault involving Shayna Cowgill, Wittenmeyer’s daughter. 
It is alleged that during the confrontation, Kenton Cowgill brandished a shotgun, and the two men began to struggle over the weapon. The shotgun discharged, and pellets struck the two children in the face and upper torso area. 
A 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were injured. They were taken to Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital in Carthage and then transferred to a hospital in Springfield. 
Sheriff’s Capt. Derek Walrod said he was told by a nurse that the children are recovering and their injuries are not life-threatening . 
The Jasper County prosecutor’s office on Tuesday charged Cowgill with three counts of domestic assault, two counts of armedcriminal action and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. 
According to a probable-cause statement submitted by sheriff’s deputies, Cowgill was watching his two children at the home of his parents on County Lane 173. Wittenmeyer went to the house to confront Cowgill about an incident a short time earlier at another address on County Lane 173 that resulted in Cowgill causing an injury to Shayna Cowgill’s head and left eye, the affidavit says.
Wittenmeyer forced his way past Kerry Cowgill, Kenton Cowgill’s mother, to enter the home, deputies said. Kenton Cowgill then reportedly picked up a loaded shotgun, which was nearby, and was bringing the shotgun “in an upward motion toward Wittenmeyer.” 
The two began struggling with the shotgun while the weapon’s muzzle was pointed in the direction of the two children, according to the affidavit. The shotgun discharged, with pellets striking both of the children. The two men reportedly continued to struggle, with Wittenmeyer eventually gaining control of the shotgun and using it in an attempt to injure Kenton Cowgill. The two men then began helping to care for the children and take them to the hospital, deputies said. 
Deputies contacted Shayna Cowgill at the Carthage hospital, and she said Kenton Cowgill had struck her in the face with his elbow during an altercation. He admitted to the assault, deputies said, and was arrested.
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North Dakota grandmother and 3 grandchildren shot

It looks like yet another mass shooting. This one is still under investigation but allegedly a grandmother and 3 of her grandchildren were shot in North Dakota. From an article:
A woman and three children were found Sunday afternoon, victims of “violent deaths,” said Kyle Loven, spokesman in the FBI’s regional headquarters in Minneapolis that includes North Dakota.
“We are looking at those deaths as homicides,” Loven said today.
The death of a man whose body was found in nearby Parshall, N.D., is being investigated “In connection,” with the New Town homicides, he said. “We are not looking at that death as a homicide,” he said.
But he would not say whether it appeared to be a murder/suicide situation.
"This is a very fresh investigation," Loven said. "We are confident there is no threat to the public at large."
Community members have said the woman and children died from gunshots, but Loven said he could not provide such investigatory details today.
The FBI has taken the lead largely because New Town and Parshall are on an Indian reservation, Loven said.
“Right now we are the lead agency, working in concert with the BCI and the BIA,” Loven said. “It really is a joint investigation.”
Any serious crime on an Indian reservation typically can involve the FBI’s jurisdiction, he said.
The woman has been identified as Martha Johnson. More information will likely become available.

Here is a related and more recent article about this shooting:
There authorities found four victims, a woman and three of her grandchildren, identified by the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Office as Martha Johnson, 64; Ben Schuster, 13; Julia Schuster, 10; and Luke Schuster, 6.
Neighbors said the 12-year-old boy who called 911, also Johnson’s grandchild, survived by playing dead, which New Town Police Chief Arthur Walgren confirmed.
About 7 p.m. Sunday, law enforcement learned a man had made statements about the crime.
While investigators were questioning him in Parshall, about 17 miles east of New Town, he killed himself with a knife, according to Sheriff Ken Halvorson.
Johnson was caring for five grandchildren, according to friends and neighbors.

8-year old Georgia boy shot in drive-by while sleeping in home

Ahijah Geffard, age 8
8-year old Ahijah Geffard was asleep in his Fulton County, Georgia home when a car drove up outside and someone started shooting at his home.  Multiple rounds hit the home.  One of those hit Ahijah in the back, critically wounding him.

From an article and news video:
Just before midnight, a car drove up to a home along Hassana Lane in south Fulton County, someone inside it fired several shots,  then the car took off. 
Police said they have not found any eyewitnesses. Neighbors calls 911 when they heard gunshots. 
“We had someone drive up and fire multiple rounds inside the house and struck and 8-year-old boy in the back,” Sgt. Scott McBride of the Fulton County Police Department said. 
Police said Ahijah Geffard  was asleep upstairs when a bullet pierced through his bedroom. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. His condition has not been released. 
Detectives said they hope someone got a glimpse of the shooter or the car. 
“Unfortunately we’re still looking for someone that might have seen the vehicle and got the tag number,” McBride said. 
Detectives interviewed the boy’s mother, grandparents and sister, who were also inside the house. They were not hurt.
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13 year old North Carolina girl shot by 15 year old boy

Neighbors are still talking about the shooting of a 13 year old girl by a 15 year old boy in a "peaceful neighborhood" in Durham, North Carolina. From an article about the shooting:

Police say they are still trying to determine what led to the shooting. Neighbors wonder how a 15-year-old managed to get hold of a firearm. Kayla, the fourth-grader, said the boy was playing with the gun. “They have guns in the house,” she said. “I seen about 10 in the closet.”
The shooting is the second involving youth in less that a month. On Oct. 16, police say Nelson Pinto, a 17-year-old who lives on the same street, shot a 68-year-old man, Kenneth Harris, while he was doing yard work at his home in the 2100 block.
Shooter Nelson Pinto, age 17
Harris and other neighbors say the street, with its modest, working-class homes and well-kept lawns, had been peaceful until recently. They think gang activity is trying to take root in the East Durham neighborhood. Two oak trees on opposite ends of the street had been recently spray-painted with gang graffiti. Christina Jones, who lives next door to Harris, said her husband used an ax to chop the bark off the tree in their front yard to remove the gang scrawl. Someone used dark brown paint to cover blue marking on the other tree.
Harris said the Thursday shooting caught him by surprise. “It was 3:30 in the afternoon,” said a recovering Harris. “Two girls walked past and then this boy behind them walked past my mailbox. A white van drove up, and somebody stuck a gun out the window and shot six times. But they didn’t hit the boy. They hit me.”
Harris rolled up the blue shirt he was wearing to display bullet wounds in his arm near his elbow and another that grazed his back. Police have said that Harris was not the intended target. “The kid came by and apologized,” Harris said. “He said, ‘They weren’t shooting at you. They were shooting at me.’ ”
That youngster, Harris said, was the same boy arrested Thursday in the girl’s shooting.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3-year old Florida boy dead after finding parents' gun and shooting himself

A 3-year old boy in Port Charlotte, Florida, found a loaded, unsecured gun in his home and shot himself to death with it.

No charges have yet been filed.

From an article:
A 3-year-old toddler died Sunday morning after he accidentally shot himself. 
The boy was in his Port Charlotte home where he found an unsecured gun, pulled the trigger shot himself, according Charlotte County police.


The boy was taken to the hospital by medical rescue where he was later pronounced dead. 
Detectives have interviewed the boy’s parents and no charges have been filed at this time.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

16-year old Arkansas boy shoots man to death during robbery over cell phone minutes

Shooter Thomas Joe Hunter, age 16
16-year old Thomas Joe Hunter, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, needed money to buy minutes for his phone.  So he decided to go to the home of Kenny Brown, 30, who was running a dice game, and steal Brown's money.  A struggle ensued, and Brown was shot through the head and killed by Hunter.

A judge has now ruled that Hunter is to be charged as an adult for the slaying.

From an article:

During an interview with JPD, Hunter told police he went to an apartment on West Monroe Street that night to rob Brown of money from a dice game he was playing. Hunter told police he needed the money to put minutes on his cell phone. 
The shooting took place around 9pm on July 24 in Apartment C at 1007 West Monroe Street. When police arrived at the home they found Kenny O. Brown dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head. 
Witnesses told police a black male fired a shot through the door of the apartment and then came into the room demanding money while pointing a gun. Witnesses say the suspect was wearing a hat and a red bandana over his face. 
People inside the apartment say Brown and his brother tried to disarm Hunter, when Brown was shot in the head. 
Witnesses told police the suspect was Hunter and they were able to find him a short while later. 
Police say evidence of a dice game and money were found at the scene, along with a black handgun just outside the apartment. 
Hunter is charged as an adult with capital murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated residential robbery. He's being held without bond, and is due back in court on November 13th.

The article doesn't say how Hunter got the gun.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Washington woman pulls gun on flasher, in front of her 6-year old son

A woman was walking her dog and pushing a stroller with her 6-year old son in it in Longview, Washington, around Lake Sacajawea.  Suddenly a man approached her, flashing her and masturbating, saying, "You need to watch this."

That's when she pulled out a loaded .38-caliber Ruger handgun out of her coat pocket and threatened to shoot him to death, giving him to the count of five before she would shoot.  The man then fled.  She then sent her dog after him.

It was the first day she had carried a gun concealed, outside the home.

From an article and news video:

Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday the woman was at Lake Sacajawea with her 6-year-old son and a dog when a man approached her aggressively while masturbating and suggested she should watch him. 
Instead the woman grabbed her gun, a Ruger .380. She's never carried it to the park, she told the paper, but fog and darkness prompted her to bring it. 
"My son was facing me in my stroller and I had the magazine in my gun, but it wasn't locked in place," she said. "So I locked it in place and cocked it and pointed it at him and told him he had five seconds and I was going to shoot him." 
Longview police detective Kyle Sahim said officers had not found the man Thursday evening but were investigating several suspects.

(a related article and news video)

While the man's actions are a serious offense, were they worthy of a potential death sentence?

Alaskan man unintentionally killed when his children discharge his handgun

An Alaskan man, Charles Lamb, living in a country cabin south of Skwentna was chopping wood when he was shot in the torso.  Without the knowledge of him or his wife, their children had gotten hold of his .38-caliber handgun and fired it, hitting him.  Lamb died from his wound.

From an article:

Charles Lamb, 61, died in the Oct. 15 shooting and it remained unclear for about a month who fired the gun and whether the gunfire had been accidental or the result of foul play. On Friday, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said one of Lamb's children accidentally shot Lamb with a .38-caliber handgun while Lamb split and stacked firewood. 
"The investigation shows that Mr. Lamb's children were inside a blue-tarped wood shed structure on the property while Mr. Lamb was doing chores outside the structure," Ipsen said. "One of the children was handling a small handgun without Mr. Lamb's knowledge when it unintentionally discharged, striking Mr. Lamb in the torso, causing a fatal wound. Mr. Lamb was nearby and out of view of the young child at the time of the shooting." 
Someone notified troopers and an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter flew to the Hiline Lake cabin, west of the Parks Highway about 40 miles across the Susitna Valley. 
Pararescue jumpers loaded Lamb into the helicopter, which flew the injured man to Anchorage. He died at a hospital, troopers said. 
Troopers said Lamb lived at the cabin with his wife and two children. Investigators returned in a trooper helicopter and interviewed the wife and children, Ipsen said. 
Ipsen declined to release the child's age because it would identify the child, who is not charged with any crime. 
"This is traumatic enough for the child and the family to deal with," Ipsen said. "As anyone would expect, it was a very upsetting and painful event for the child and the entire family."

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/11/16/2695488/childs-accidental-shot-killed.html#storylink=cpy


Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

16-year old Florida boy unintentionally shoots self to death with stolen gun

Yaredh Gautier, age 16
A 16-year old boy, Yaredh Gautier, was in a library in Orange City, Florida, with friends when he pulled out a .38-caliber Special to show it off.  He then unintentionally shot himself in the head, through the eye, later dying from his wound.

The gun had been reported stolen ten years ago.  How the boy got the gun, no one knows, but according to the video, friends may have indicated that Yaredh had recently found the gun.

From an article:

Officials said 16-year-old Yardeh Gautier accidentally shot in himself in the eye while looking at a gun inside an Orange City library. 
He was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center. Officials say Gautier died Friday afternoon.  
Police said the University High School student was showing off a gun to a pair of friends inside the Dickinson Memorial Library off U.S. 17-92 in Orange City when it went off about 4 p.m. 
Detectives said Gautier found the .38 Special Wednesday. The gun was stolen in a burglary in Deltona 10 years ago. 
"He took the gun out, showing it, and it discharged," said Orange City police Detective Ken Jones. 
Friends described him as fun, outgoing and mild-mannered. 
It's still unclear whether Gautier had the gun at school although he was at the library within a half hour of dismissal. 
School officials say they have no information about him bragging about it, waving it around or showing it at school.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby shot in face in Texas by man unloading handgun

A man was unloading his 9mm handgun in Nacogdoches, Texas, when he unintentionally fired it.  The round went through his hand, through his wife's hand, and through the face of his 8-month old baby (in the mother's lap) and finally through the wall and into the neighboring apartment.

No charges have been filed.

From an article:

According to police reports, several people were in the apartment at the time of the shooting. A 19-year-old woman was seated holding the infant. At the same time, a 21-year-old man was unloading a 9 mm pistol. 
When the pistol accidentally discharged, it struck the man in his left hand. It then struck the young woman in the left hand before striking the baby in the face. The bullet continued on and entered the residence next door, where it lodged in a piece of furniture. No one was injured in the adjoining apartment. 
The investigation into this incident is continuing. No charges have been filed, and no arrests have been made in this incident. At the time, Sowell said the incident is being treated as an accidental shooting.

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