SIX UNINTENTIONAL SHOOTINGS IN TENNESSEE, FIVE FATAL, IN AUGUST
*UPDATED FROM A PREVIOUS POST
Friday night, 17-year-old Austin Payton Davis was at home with his siblings and grandfather and was “playing” with a gun when he unintentionally shot himself in the head. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
This was the sixth unintentional shooting in August. Five of the incidents resulted in deaths. Three involved minor children with access to loaded firearms.
On Tuesday August 21st, a 47-year-old Clarksville man was moving a handgun to another location in his home when he inadvertently discharged it. The bullet hit an 18-year-old who was visiting the home. The teen was taken to the hospital where was he was pronounced dead.
This was the second unintentional shooting in Clarksville within a two day period. On the 19th, two 18-year-old girls were handling a gun around a 17-year-old male friend. One of the girls mistakenly believed the gun to be unloaded and pointed at the boy. It fired and killed him.
“Unintentional shootings continue to be a problem in our state,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project. “While they make up a small percentage of firearm injuries and deaths, they are especially frustrating and heartbreaking because they are always 100% preventable.”
“These incidents are reminders of the tragic consequences of being irresponsible with firearms,” said Roth. “Responsible gun ownership means following the basic rules of gun safety: treat every gun as though it is loaded at all times and store all firearms securely so that they are inaccessible to children. If a gun owner is unable or unwilling to follow these rules, they are putting themselves and others at extreme risk.”
TENNESSEE UNINTENTIONAL SHOOTINGS IN AUGUST
August 31, 2018 – Coffee County – Child – Fatality
A 17-year-old was at home with his siblings and grandfather and was “playing” with a gun when he unintentionally shot himself in the head. He was transported to Unity Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
August 21, 2018 – Clarksville – Adult – Fatality
In Clarksville, 47-year-old Kelly Thomas was moving a handgun to another location when he inadvertently discharged it around 1:15 a.m. The bullet hit 18-year-old Mason Sandoval, who was visiting the home. The teen was taken to Tennova Medical Center, where was he was pronounced dead. Police said charges have not been filed at this time.
August 21, 2018 – Covington – Child – Injury
A 16-year-old unintentionally shot his 19-year-old cousin as he was handing him a loaded gun. No word on how the 16-year-old had access to the gun.
August 19, 2018 – Clarksville – Child – Fatality
Two 18-year-old girls and a 17-year-old boy were playing with a gun. One of the girls believed the gun was unloaded and pointed it at the boy and pulled the trigger. The boy was killed. The girls attempted to hide the gun and have been charged.
August 8, 2018 – LaFollette – Child – Fatality
A 10-year-old unintentionally shot his 9-year-old sister in the head while the two were sitting in a car in a shopping center parking lot. She was flown to the hospital but was later pronounced dead.
August 4, 2018 – Dover – Child – Fatality
An adult family member was either cleaning a gun or clearing the chamber when it fired, striking a 5-year-old girl in the shoulder. She was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. No charges have been filed.
TENNESSEE UNINTENTIONAL SHOOTINGS IN 2018 – BY THE NUMBERS
Total unintentional shootings involving/injuring children: 19
Unintentional shootings involving children with no injuries: 1
Unintentional shootings involving children resulting in injury: 12
Unintentional shootings involving children resulting in death: 6
Total unintentional shootings involving/injuring adults: 16
Unintentional shootings involving adults with no injuries: 0
Unintentional shootings involving adults resulting in injury: 11
Unintentional shootings involving adults resulting in death: 5
Total unintentional shootings to date: 35
Note: The shootings involving children include both incidents where a child unintentionally shoots themselves or another person as well as incidents where an adult unintentionally shoots a child. In this context, unintentional shootings involving children indicate a minor child was a victim, unintentional shootings involving adults indicate an adult unintentionally shot another adult.
For more information on unintentional shootings in Tennessee, click here.
For a list of all unintentional shootings involving kids with access to negligently stored guns, click here.