There is no federal database tracking these incidents and even those that do try to track them by searching news stories and police reports understand that accidental shootings are under reported.
Although the term most commonly used to describe these types of shooting is “accidental” we do not see them as accidents. Each of these incidents was 100% preventable. Understanding and practicing gun safety is responsible gun ownership. And, part of responsible gun ownership is safe storage of firearms. When not in use, guns should be locked and unloaded. Always. Far too many loaded and unlocked guns are easily accessible to children AND TEENS and result in preventable tragedies.
These are the news stories we have tracked so far in 2015.
>> Total Unintentional shootings involving children: 24
Unintentional shootings involving children- injuries: 14
Unintentional shootings involving children with no injury: 0
Unintentional shootings involving children- fatalities: 9
*Intentional (fatal) shooting of a child by a child with an unsecured gun: 1
> Unintentional shootings involving adults: 27
Unintentional shootings involving adults- injuries: 19
Unintentional shootings involving adults with no injury: 4
Unintentional shootings involving adults- fatalities: 4
Total accidental shooting incidents in 2015: 51
*October 3, 2015- White Pine – Child – Fatality
8-year-old MaKayla Dyer who was INTENTIONALLY shot by her 11-year old neighbor when she refused to let him play with her puppy. The boy used his father’s loaded shotgun, kept in an unlocked closet in a trailer full of children. Although this incident was intentional, the death was 100% due to the irresponsible storage of the father’s shotgun. The boy was convicted of first degree murder but the father will not be charged with anything.
LAST UPDATED: 12/26/2015
> December 25, 2015 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
On Christmas Day, a 31-year-old man accidentally shot himself while driving and crashed into a light pole after hitting another car. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
>> December 12, 2015 – Estill Springs – Child – Fatality
11-year-old Sienna Owens who was shot and killed at her 12-year-old friend’s house. Sienna and several friends were at a boy’s home and the children were in the garage. A gun was produced, a single shot was fired, and Sienna Owens was killed. Police are still investigating the shooting to determine if it was unintentional. However, the death of this young girl is 100% due to the negligent storage of a gun. Middle school aged children should not be allowed access to loaded guns without adult supervision. No charges have been filed.
> December 11, 2015 – Franklin County – Adult – Injury
A hunter mistook another hunter for a deer and shot him in the knee. The victim was airlifted to the hospital. No word on his condition.
> December 8, 2015 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
A man accidentally shot himself but told police another man shot him. He was charged with filing a false police report and being a felon in possession of a gun.
>> November 30, 2015 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 3-year-old child unintentionally shot himself in the arm with a gun. His father was in the kitchen when the child shot himself.
>> November 17, 2015 – Goodlettsville – Child – Fatality
A father who always kept his loaded gun nearby for protection was watching TV with his two young sons. The gun had a laser sight and the father was teasing the family cat with the laser. He set the gun down and left the room. The older boy picked up the gun and tried to operate the laser but instead, accidentally shot his 5-year-old little brother in the head, killing him. The father was later charged with felony criminally negligent homicide.
> November 14, 2015 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A woman was accidentally shot in the head at an estate sale by someone handling a gun that was for sale.
> November 2, 2015 – Clarksville – Adult – Fatality
A 21-year-old woman died after being accidentally shot in the head in Clarksville. Police are not seeking any suspects in connection to the shooting.
>> October 31, 2015 – Zionville NC – Child – Injury
A 13-year-old Tennessee boy was accidentally shot by another 13-year-old Tennessee boy in Zionville, NC, on the state line of North Carolina and Tennessee. The boy sustained a shotgun blast to the abdomen and was airlifted to Johnson City. No word on condition or how the boys had access to the gun.
>> October 31, 2015 – Whitehaven – Child – Injury
A 15-year-old and 16-year-old were both injured when a gun the 16-year-old was handling “just went off.” One child was struck in the foot and the other in the hand.
>> October 25, 2015 – Hamilton County – Child – Injury
A 13-year-old was accidentally shot in the face by a family member as the family posed for pictures with guns.
> October 21, 2015 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A man initially claiming he was struck by a stray bullet confessed that he accidentally shot himself with a friend’s gun.
> October 9, 2015 – Atwood – Adult – Fatality
A 22-year-old man and some friends were in a garage. The 22-year-old had “dry fired” the 9 mm handgun several times as the loaded magazine hung loose from the weapon, the Sheriff’s Department said. He aimed it at the wall and his knee and the weapon did not fire. He then pointed it at his head and the weapon fired.
> October 5, 2015 – Cookeville – Adult – Injury
A Cookeville man was charged with reckless endangerment after a reported accidental shooting last night that injured himself and a woman at the scene. He had been pointing the gun at another man with whom he’d had a disagreement. Police had already been to the residence earlier in the evening.
> September 28, 2015 – Nashville – Adult – Fatality
A mother of two was mistake for an intruder by her boyfriend who shot and killed her. She was returning home after taking one of her children to school.
> September 25, 2015 – Seymour – Adult – Injury
Clyde Wallace “Wally” Johnson, identified by authorities as a “company executive” of Craig’s Firearm Supply, 8761 Chapman Highway, told police he was attempting to cycle a round into the chamber of a Glock handgun at the store when the gun fired and discharged a round through the palm of his right hand.
> September 7, 2015 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A 28-year-old woman was at an apartment complex in Bellevue when a man who lives there was showing off his gun. Another man was holding the gun when it accidentally went off, striking the woman in the head. She spent a week in the hospital and is still undergoing rehab and physical therapy. She can no longer see out of left eye and has lost all feeling on her left side. No charges were filed. Police were still investigating.
> September 6, 2015 – Harrison – Adult – Injury
An experienced shooter and long-time shooting range member was rushed to the hospital after accidentally shooting himself at a gun range while holstering his gun. His injury was not life threatening.
>> August 29, 2015 – Murfreesboro – Child – Fatality
A 15-year-old popular football player was accidentally shot in the head at his home. He was life flighted and kept on life support. Four days later, he was declared brain dead.
> August 25, 2015 – Greeneville – Adult – Fatality
Kenneth Oval Hensley, 67, died of chest injures suffered after a shotgun he was carrying on his tractor apparently accidentally discharged. A 12-gauge shotgun was on the ground next to him.
>> August 14, 2015 – Greeneville – Child – Injury
In Greeneville, a 17-year-old practicing his “quick draw” skills accidentally shot himself in the leg. The teenager told deputies that he forgot to unload the revolver “and while drawing the weapon it discharged. The bullet struck his right leg just above the ankle. His injuries were minor.
>> August 5, 2015 – Robertson County – Child Fatality
The 15-year-old son of a Robertson County deputy was accidentally shot and killed. No word on who shot him, only that it was an accident. The boy’s father is the school resource officer at his high school.
>> August 4, 2015 – Chattanooga – Child – Injury
A developmentally disabled 13-year-old accidentally shot himself in the arm with a loaded gun he found in his home. Police found a total of three handguns including a 9mm handgun and a .22 caliber gun which were loaded. One of the guns was stolen.
>> August 1, 2015 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 10-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the chest by another child at a Nashville motel. Three boys were playing with a cap gun and a .22 caliber when the shooting occurred.
>> July 24, 2015 – Tullahoma – Child – Injury
A 12-year-old boy was accidentally shot with a .243 rifle by another juvenile. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt. He is expected to survive.
> July 23, 2015 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A 32-year-old man shot accidentally himself in the leg and then drove to a nearby Walgreens to wait for ambulance.
> July 7, 2015 – Chattanooga – Adult – Injury
A 38-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the chest at work. He was sitting at his desk at Standard Tool & Die, trying to “field strip” his gun, when the gun went off. His injury is non-life threatening. Police say he has a valid gun permit.
> June 24, 2015 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
Just months after a new law was passed to allow guns in all public parks, a Memphis man at Douglass Park accidentally shot himself. Witnesses said he “sat down wrong” and caused the gun to discharge.
> June 23, 2015 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
While his mother was at the store and his father was doing yard work, a 4-year-old found his father’s loaded gun and shot and killed himself with it.
>> June 23, 2015 – Knoxville – Adult – Injury
A woman was accidentally shot at a barbecue when a man was showing his gun to a friend and unintentionally shot. She was struck in the hand and leg. He injuries were not life threatening.
>> May 30, 2015 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
Two teens in Memphis were playing with the hammer of a revolver in one of their apartments when the gun fired, shooting one of them in the thigh. The victim was last reported to be in stable condition. The shooter was charged with reckless endangerment. No charges have been filed against the adult(s) who allowed the revolver to be in the possession of the teens.
> May 29, 2015 – Hickman County – Child – Injury
The 13-year-old daughter of a Sheriff’s deputy, described as being well acquainted with firearms, was accidentally shot with one of her father’s personal guns. Her injuries required surgery.
> May 22, 2015 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A permit holder carrying his gun in a fanny pack dropped the fanny pack in a WalMart, causing the gun to discharge. No charges were filed. http://www.dnj.com/story/news/2015/05/04/police-gun-discharges-man-drops-fanny-pack-wal-mart/26886703/
>> April 22, 2015 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
Two seniors were playing with a gun on senior skip day. The guns accidentally discharged, killing one of the teens. The shooter has been charged with reckless homicide.
> April 20, 2015 – Henry County – Adult – Injury
While walking in Paris Landing State Park, a 19-year-old carrying an “unfamiliar handgun” accidentally discharged the gun and accidentally shooting himself in the leg. The man said his finger slipped off the guard and hit the trigger, causing the gun to fire.
> April 3, 2015 – Clarksville – Adult – Injury
A 22-year-old Clarksville man working security at a teen party on Oak Street dropped a gun and shot himself in the calf while trying to break up a girl fight. He was armed with a Hi-Point CF380 and ran to break up the fight while holding the weapon. He placed it in his vest and while pulling one of the girls from the pile, the weapon fell out, hit the ground and went off, shooting him in his right calf. The man does not own the handgun and did not have a permit to carry a weapon concealed or as an armed security guard. He was charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a weapon.
>> March 31, 2015 – Nashville – Child – Fatality
2-year-old child was killed in Madison apartment. Investigation is ongoing but it is likely the child fired the gun himself. No charges have been filed.
>> March 22, 2015 – Nashville – Child – Injury
During an argument, a woman fired shots into the ground. One of the rounds ricocheted and struck an 11-year-old boy, injuring him. He was last reported to be in stable condition.
>> March 22, 2015 – Blount County – Child – Injury
In Alcoa, a 14-year-old girl mistook a loaded pistol for a BB gun and fired it at a 17 year old, injuring him. The two teens were at the home of a Blount County sheriff’s department officer. No charges have been filed.
> March 19, 2015 – Morgan County – Adult – Injury
A Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer accidentally discharged his .357 Glock semi-automatic while teaching a nighttime course on guns at Sunbright School. No one was injured.
>> March 3, 2015 – Coffee County – Child – Injury
A 3-year-old little boy found a loaded gun and shot his 18 month old brother in the head.
>> February 27, 2015 – Nashville – Child – Fatality
An 11-year-old little boy and a 15-year-old boy were playing with a gun when the 11-year-old accidentally shot and killed the 15-year-old.
> February 23, 2015 – Smyrna – Adult – Injury
During a town hall meeting, police lieutenant Earl Barnes who was providing security accidentally discharged his gun, sending a .40 caliber round through the carpet and into the concrete below. Barnes was sitting in a chair and as he got up, his gun got caught and as he tried to grab it, the gun fired. Barnes is the head of the SWAT team with 25 years on the police force.
> February 21, 2015 – Kingsport – Adult – Injury
A 41-year-old woman “depressed over personal issues” was intoxicated and trying to unload her .357 magnum when it accidentally discharged, sending a bullet into her neighbor’s apartment. No one was injured. The woman was charged with reckless endangerment.
> February 21, 2015 – Paris – Adult – Injury
A 52-year-old man and a friend were cleaning their guns when the one of the men removed his .357 from its holster, accidentally discharging it. A bullet passed through the man’s leg.
> February 10, 2015 – Springfield – Adult – Injury
An 18-year-old sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He originally told police he had been shot but later admitted he’d accidentally shot himself.
> February 7, 2015 – Chattanooga – Adult – Injury
A 19-year-old was adjusting the gun concealed in his pants when he discharged his weapon accidentally. The man was injured.
>> February 3, 2015 – Morgan County – Child – Fatality
A 15-year-old was at home with family when he removed a gun out of the family’s gun safe. The gun fired, killing the boy.
> January 12, 2015 – McMinnville – Adult – Injury
A man shot himself in the back of the leg at Walmart. He reached in his pocket for a tissue and instead caused his holstered weapon to discharge.
>> January 10, 2015 – Lebanon – Child – Injury
Two high school sophomores playing with a gun at one of the boys’ houses. The gun was discharged, shattering the femur of one of the boys.