Just four weeks into the new year, and there have already been at least SIX unintentional shootings. Four of the shootings involved children, three of whom died. Two involved adults who unintentionally shot themselves or someone else.
2016 saw a dramatic uptick in the number of unintentional shootings from the previous year. In 2015, we tracked 51 unintentional shootings (incidents where adults shot themselves or other adults, incidents where adults shot children, and incidents where children gained access to an irresponsibly stored gun and shot themselves or another person) compared to 84 incidents in 2016.
The circumstances in each incident vary but all share one common denominator – adult gun owners being careless and irresponsible in how they handle and store their firearms.
These shootings are #NotAnAccident. They are examples of adults who don’t take the responsibility of gun ownership seriously. They are examples of adults who lack the competence to be trusted with guns.
January 30, 2017 – Dandridge – Adult – Injury
A 33-year-old Dandridge woman and her husband heard a suspicious noise outside. The woman picked up her .22 pistol. As they went outside, she unintentionally shot herself in the thigh when she slipped on an icy step.
January 17, 2017 – Cocke County – Child – Fatality
The mother of a 12-year-old boy called EMS to report that her son had shot himself. Upon arrival, EMS tried to revive the child but he did not survive.
January 17, 2017 – Springfield – Child – Injury
A 5-year-old found a handgun in a bedroom and fired it, striking the child’s 9-year-old cousin in the arm. No charges have been filed.
January 14, 2017 – Crossville – Adult – Fatality
A man got into a fight with another man in a home. During the altercation, one of the men fired a shotgun. Projectiles from the gunshot perforated an interior wall, striking and killing a 21-year-old woman in an adjacent room of the home. The shooter has been charged with one count of aggravated assault resulting in death, one count of reckless homicide, and one count of aggravated assault.
January 7, 2017 – Cedar Hill – Child – Fatality
Reports indicate that an 11-year-old boy who was a month away from turning 12 was killed when a gun “accidentally discharged.” The child sustained a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen and did not survive his injuries. The shooting took place in a field behind the Three Feathers Hunting Preserve and is being called a “hunting accident.” Details on who the shooter was or whether the gunshot was self-inflicted have not yet been released.
January 6, 2017 – Jackson – Child – Fatality
An 11-year-old was shot and killed in a Jackson, Tennessee motel room, according to Jackson Police Department. JPD said its initial investigation suggests the shooting was accidental, but the case remains open. Further details have not yet been released.