Unintentional Shootings – 2016

Tennessee has a problem with unintentional shootings. Many of these involve children.

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. Handling or cleaning guns around others without verifying that the gun is unloaded an not safe.  And, a vital 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.

#NotAnAccident #SafeStorageSavesLives

These are the news stories we tracked in 2016.

>> Total unintentional shootings involving children: 32
Unintentional shootings involving children – injuries: 22
Unintentional shootings involving children with no injuries: 0
Unintentional shootings involving children – deaths: 9
*Intentional (fatal) shooting of a child by a child with an unsecured gun: 1

> Total unintentional shootings involving adults: 50
Unintentional shootings involving adults- injuries: 44
Unintentional shootings involving adults- deaths: 6

Total unintentional shooting incidents in 2016: 84*
*Details on the age of persons injured in two unintentional shootings (one on 10/14 in Chattanooga and one on 10/29 in Elizabethton) are unknown.  We have included these incidents in the total count, but do not know they involved a child or an adult.

LAST UPDATED:12/28/2016

* December 20, 2016 – Knoxville – Child – Fatality
While their parents were not home, a 13-year-old boy INTENTIONALLY and fatally shot his 12-year-old brother. The 13-year-old was charged with first-degree murder.

> December 27, 2016 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A man who claimed to have been shot in his car by another driver was later determined to have unintentionally shot himself.  A search of his vehicle turned up stolen guns and illegal drugs.

>> December 27, 2016 – Mt. Juliet – Child – Injury
Three teens were at one of the boy’s homes. One of the boys visiting the home brought a firearm. As the boys were handling the gun, it discharged, striking the boy who lived in the home in the neck. He was life-flighted to Vanderbilt, treated, and was later released.

> December 15, 2016 – Ooltewah – Adult – Injury
A man accidentally shot his wife early Thursday morning, mistaking her for an intruder. He was sleeping while she was working in the kitchen. When she returned to the bedroom, he shot her. The bullet grazed her ear. Her injuries were not life threatening. The sheriff’s department does not expect to file charges, but the DA said that if there were, “the shooter could have a compelling argument for self-defense.”

> November 28, 2016 – Springfield – Adult – Injury
A 34-year-old man shot himself as he was trying to put his gun in the waistband of his pants. He initially told police that he’d been shot, but later admitted that he’s unintentionally shot himself. Police recovered 3 unspent .38 caliber shell casings and a crack pipe lying beside the man. No word on if charges will be filed.

>> November 26, 2016 – McMinnville – Child – Fatality
A 17-tear-old girl was sitting across from her 13-year-old brother when the .223 rifle he was unloading discharged, striking her. The boy called 911 and dispatchers attempted to talk the 13-year-old through performing CPR, but the girl was pronounced dead by first responders.  No word on the where the parents were or who the gun belonged to.

> November 24, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A 32-year-old Greeneville man was cleaning his Thompson .45 caliber pistol  when it unintentionally discharged, striking his right index finger and grazed his leg.  He was taken to the Tacoma Regional Hospital.  His condition was not available.

> November 7, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A Greeneville man shot himself in the hand as he was cleaning his gun.  He was attempting to test fire the 9mm handgun when it discharged, sending a bullet through his hand.  The extent of his injuries and his condition are unknown.

> November 4, 2016 – Knoxville – Adult – Fatality
A man is dead after what deputies say was an apparent accidental shooting Friday afternoon in East Knox County.  Authorities stated that the man found had been target shooting and they believe accidentally shot himself once. His name and age have not been released.

*October 29, 2016 – Elizabethton – Unknown – Injury
A person in Elizabethan was transported to the hospital after what authorities said was an accidental shooting. The extent of the victim’s injuries and details about the gender and age of the victim and the circumstances of the shooting have not been reported.

> October 25, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
Three men were playing with a gun when it discharged, striking one of the men in the ankle.  When the sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they found a bag containing 1.9 grams of methamphetamine along with empty plastic bags, a pouch containing empty bags, a 100-gram weight, a digital scale, cut straws and a pipe with a rubber hose attached.

*October 14, 2016 – Chattanooga – Unknown – Injury
Chattanooga police say a person was accidentally shot this afternoon off East Brainerd Road.  Police confirm one person was accidentally shot, but did not provide details of the shooting.

>> October 2, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 16-year-old was shot on the 3400 block of Dupre Street, according to Memphis police. Officers said the shooting happened just before 8 p.m. The victim and friends where handling the weapon, the gun fired and the victim was hit in the abdomen. The victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

>> September 25, 2016 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A car pulled up to a residence in Donelson. A 2-year-old child that doesn’t live at the residence was able to pick up a loaded gun from a door pocket of the car and fire the gun, striking a 12-year-old in the hip. The child was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle, according to police, can legally carry the firearm, but does not have a carry permit.

> September 10, 2016 – Clarksville – Adult – Injury
Two pedestrians confronted people in a vehicle and began firing shots into it.  A bystander standing a driveway of a nearby residence was struck in the arm and was taken to the hospital.  Authorities believe the confrontation resulted from a prior altercation at a nearby convenience store.

> September 9, 2016 – Clarksville – Adult – Injury
A 24-year-old man unintentionally shot himself in the thigh as he was cleaning his gun.  He was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

> September 8, 2016 – Hamilton County – Adult – Injury
Police responded to a call reporting an accidental shooting on September 8th.  The victim was hospitalized and police are investigating.  Additional details regarding the victim’s age and the circumstances of the shooting have not yet been reported as of September 9.

>> September 6, 2016 – Louisville – Child – Injury
A 9-year-old boy was shot in the head when the gun his mother was handling unintentionally discharged.  The bullet traveled through the floor of the family’s apartment and struck the child who was in a room below.  No charges filed.

>> August 30, 2016 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 3-year-old gained access to his father’s loaded, unsecured gun and shot himself in the hand.  He was taken to the hospital.  His injuries are not considered life-threatening.  The gun belonged to the child’s father who is a security guard with a gun permit.

> August 29, 2016 – Chattanooga – Adult – Injury
A part-time employee at a UPS facility accidentally shot themselves in the parking lot.  Although UPS does not allow guns on the premises, a new law effective July 1st allows guns to be kept in their vehicle even if their employer objects.

> August 27, 2016 – Greeneville – Child – Injury
A 68-year-old man shot himself in the leg after using the bathroom. The victim and his wife both told deputies that he was in a downstairs bathroom pulling up his pants when a .22 caliber derringer pistol that he kept in a small nylon cellphone case clipped to his waistband fell  to the ground, causing the gun to discharge. A bullet hit the man in the leg. His injuries required hospitalization.

> August 26, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A 22-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the hand.  Police found spent shell casing in the living room of the home. A hole in the kitchen wall led to the adjacent unit. Inside that unit, there was a hole in the wall that led to the living room couch. He was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital.  His injury was not considered life-threatening.

>> August 25, 2016 – Cocke County – Child – Fatality
54-year-old Christoper Allen Russell awakened his 7-year-old grandson Jayden Norton and took him to the front porch to show him a gun.  While the two were on the porch, the gun fired, striking Jayden in the chest.  The grandfather left the scene in his vehicle and was later involved in a fatal crash.  The shooting death of the child was ruled accidental by the District Attorney and Cocke County sheriff.  The car crash was also ruled an accident and the result of driving too fast around a corner.

> August 24, 2016 – Paris – Adult – Injury
A 19-year-old man initially told police that he had been the victim of a drive by shooting but later admitted that he had shot himself in the foot.  No charges were filed against the man.

> August 21, 2016 – East Ridge – Adult – Injury
Officers were responding to a shooting call when they encountered two individuals who told the officers that the shooting was an accident and that they were taking themselves to the hospital.  Both men had been injured.

>> August 8, 2016 – Hendersonville – Child – Fatality
An 11-year-old girl was accidentally shot by her father.  He was awakened by a sound and shot at his daughter.  The girl died from her injuries.  Initially the father told police she had been shot outside the home after getting off the school bus. The father has been charged with reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, false reporting and possessing a firearm as a felon.

> July 30, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A 63-year-old men who had been drinking dropped his firearm, causing it to discharge.  The man was shot in the ankle.  He was issued a misdemeanor citation for possessing a firearm while under the influence.

> July 15, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A 42-year-old woman suffered leg wounds after the Smith & Wesson pistol she was cleaning discharged.  According the woman, she had not “cleared the weapon properly.”  She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. No charges were filed.

> July 14, 2016 – Maryville – Adult – Injury
A 32-year-old man accidentally shot a female companion in the stomach but initially lied to responding officers, claiming the woman was shot in a home invasion.  The man was prohibited from possessing a gun and was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and filing a false report. He was also charged with violating the conditions of his community corrections.

>> July 10, 2016 – Lawrence County – Child – Injury
An Amish boy was unintentionally shot with a .22 rifle by another Amish boy while the two were playing. The victim was taken to Vanderbilt for treatment.

>> July 3, 2016 – East Ridge – Child – Fatality
A 17-year-old accidentally shot herself with a revolver in an apartment she was visiting in East Ridge. No details on who the gun belonged to. The girl later died from her injuries.

>> July 1, 2016 – Clarksville – Child – Fatality
A 3-year-old toddler fatally shot himself in the face with a .40 caliber pistol. The child was visiting from Fort Riley, Kansas, with his family. The gun belonged to the homeowner.

> June 27, 2016 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
A man unintentionally shot himself on Roosevelt Parkway. The man “limped to the ambulance.” The man’s injuries were not life-threatening.

>> June 26, 2016 – Haywood County – Child – Fatality
A fight at a party ended in gunfire and 17-year-old girl was fatally shot by a stray bullet as she hid.

> June 23, 2016 – Red Bank – Adult – Injury
A Red Bank man was walking to his car when he shot himself in the leg.  He says that the gun was in his bag and he has “no idea” what caused it to fire.

> June 20, 2016 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A man accidentally shot himself in the head at the Nashville Shores campground.  He was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital in critical condition.

> June 14, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
An 18-year-old shot himself in the face with a .20 gauge shotgun as he was cleaning it. He said the gun discharged as he used a cleaning rod to clean the barrel of the weapon. His injuries were not life threatening.

>> June 9, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A family, including a 4-year-old boy, was locked out of their home.  A family friend attempted to climb through the window to open the door.  As he climbed through the window, a gun fell from his pants and discharged, firing a bullet that hit the 4-year-old.  The child was taken to the hospital with non-critical injuries.

>> June 7, 2016 – Lawrenceburg – Child – Injury
Caleb Young, 10, was shot in the chest at close range Tuesday night while outside shooting with the BB gun with another boy.

> June 7, 2016 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A man was attempting to clear his pistol when it unintentionally fired two rounds into his leg.  He was hospitalized and is reported to be in critical condition.

> June 5, 2016 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A Memphis man unintentionally shot himself in the leg.  He was hospitalized with non-critical injuries.

>> May 26, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Child – Injury
A boy who was cleaning a rifle he thought was unloaded unintentionally fired it. The bullet struck his father in the leg. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt. His condition is unknown.

> May 22, 2016 – Nashville – Adult – Fatality
18-year-old track star DeAndre Kpana-Quamoh had recently graduated from East Literature High School and was headed to Alabama State University in the fall on a full academic scholarship. After work Sunday night, he went to a friend’s house. The two were handling a gun they thought was unloaded when it unintentionally discharged, killing DeAndre.

> May 15, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A man accidentally shot himself while getting ready for bed.  The .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol “fell off the nightstand and went off.”  The man was taken to the hospital.  His condition is unknown.

>> May 12, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
An 18-year-old was unintentionally shot in the chest as she got ready for prom. A 17-year-old friend was “playing around with a gun” when it went off, shooting the young woman and leaving her in critical condition. The 17-year-old was charged with aggravated assault.

> May 9, 2016 – Knoxville – Adult – Injury
A Knoxville man was shooting at a backstop to to check the accuracy of the sites on his weapon. One of the bullets fired went beyond the backstop, through a wooded area, and struck a vehicle. A 33-year-old man was seated in the vehicle and struck in the left arm. His injuries are not life-threatening.

>> May 7, 2016 – Smyrna – Child – Injury
A 2-year-old child was able to gain access to a loaded gun and accidentally shot herself. She was Life-Flighted to Vanderbilt and is expected to survive.

> May 2, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
While cleaning his Mossberg shotgun, a 37-year-old Murfreesboro man shot himself in the foot. He was taken to the hospital with serious, but not life threatening injuries.

> April 30, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A man had just purchased a Smith & Wesson .38 Special from a friend and was attempting to open the cylinder and the gun discharged, hitting the victim in the right foot.

> April 30, 2016 – Huntingdon – Adult – Fatality
Police responded to a call and found an 18-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.  A 38 Smith & Wesson revolver lying next to him.  He was taken to the hospital where he later died.  The TBI and Huntingdon Police Department concluded that the shooting was unintentional.

>> April 30, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 17-year-old unintentionally shot himself near the campus of the University of Memphis.

>> April 29, 2016 – Lebanon – Child – Injury
A 10-year-old found a loaded shotgun and unintentionally shot himself in the abdomen. He has been taken to the hospital in serious condition.  His injuries were severe and it’s been reported that he faces many surgeries.

> April 18, 2016 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A 38-year-old Nashville man unintentionally shot himself in the foot.

> April 13, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A man unintentionally shot himself in the leg as he was cleaning his gun.  His injuries were not life-threatening.  The man told deputies that he was trying to rack the gun to unload it when it fired.  The gun had no safety.

> April 7, 2016 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A man accidentally shot himself at a local Walgreens.  His mother was with him and called 911.  His injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

> April 4, 2016 – Dyersburg – Adult – Injury
A 29-year-old man was treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg. He originally told police that he’d been shot by someone else but investigators later determined that he’d actually shot himself in the leg. He was charged with possession of a weapon with the intent to go armed.

>> March 24, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
An 11-year-old little girl was shot by a playmate who was playing with a gun.  She was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

>> March 19, 2016 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 14-year-old boy in Nashville accidentally shot himself in the leg.  He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  No word on how he had access to a loaded gun.

> March 15, 2016 – Chattanooga – Adult – Fatality
A 22-year-old man was handling a weapon when it discharged, killing 19-year-old Carly Ellis inside a Chattanooga home. The bullet went through a wall and hit Ellis in the neck, according to Chattanooga police. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2016/mar/16/womshot-killed-chattanooghome/355528/

>> March 14, 2016 – Chattanooga – Child – Injury
A 15-year-old teen was accidentally shot in what Chattanooga police describe as an “domestic-related” shooting. No word on his condition.

> March 11, 2016 – Madison – Adult – Injury
A man shot himself in the chest while cleaning his gun. He was transported to the hospital. His condition is unknown.

> March 5, 2016 – Knoxville – Adult – Injury
A Knoxville man with a valid gun permit accidentally shot himself outside the West Towne Mall Cheesecake Factory.  The 23-year-old man unintentionally discharged his Glock, injuring his leg.  He was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

>> February 29, 2016 – Apison – Child – Fatality
3-year-old Gavin Pittman accidentally shot himself in the head in his family’s minivan.  The minivan was parked outside the family’s home. The child’s mother was charged with criminally negligent homicide and child endangerment.

> February 23, 2016 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
According to witnesses, an employee of Corky’s Ribs and BBQ in Cordova was stepping out of his car and showing his gun to someone when it discharged. The man, a 21-year-old, described as a good person, is in currently in critical condition.

> February 22, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Fatality
A Greeneville city official was exiting his work vehicle when his .22 caliber handgun discharged, striking him in the stomach. He was airlifted to the Johnson City Medical Center where he died several weeks later as a result of his injuries.

> February 20, 2016 – Knoxville – Adult – Injury
While at a West Knox County shooting range, a woman was hit in the back of the head with what appears to be a ricocheted bullet. She was transported to UT Medical Center for treatment.

> February 16, 2016 – Knoxville – Adult – Injury
An employee at City View Magazine with a valid carry permit was holstering his handgun after using the restroom when he accidentally shot himself in the right leg. He was taken to the hospital to be treated.

> February 14, 2016 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
While in an adult bookstore, a man reached into his pocket for his cellphone and unintentionally discharged his weapon instead. The man had a permit but it expired in 2013.

> February 13, 2016 – Greeneville – Adult – Injury
A Greeneville man was cleaning his gun when it jammed. While trying to clear the gun, it fired and grazed his right hand. He was treated and released from the hospital.

> February 7, 2016 – Nashville – Adult – Fatality
A man died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot to the head at a Red Roof motel in Nashville. Police said the shooting has been ruled an accident and self-inflicted.

> February 6, 2016 – LaVergne – Adult – Injury
Two people were injured in an accidental shooting in LaVergne. The bullet went through one person’s hand and the other person in the leg. One of those injured was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in unknown condition.

>> February 5, 2016 – East Ridge – Child – Fatality
A 16-year-old was found in a bedroom with a 15-year-old friend and a .380 semi-automatic handgun. The older child had been unintentionally shot by the younger one. The victim was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The shooter has been charged with reckless homicide. The shooter says that the boys found the gun on the side of the road.

>> February 4, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 20-year-old was handling a gun that fired and hit a 16-year-old girl. Police report the two knew each other and that the shooting was an accident. The 20-year-old has been charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. The victim is in stable condition.

> February 3, 2016 – Kingsport – Adult – Injury
As he was attempting to kick out an unwanted houseguest, a Kingsport man accidentally shot the houseguest in the chest. The shooting victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

> February 1, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A former student who had been a criminal justice major and who served on the Raider Patrol assisting officers accidentally shot himself as he ran, naked, from police, waving a Smith & Wesson .45 and firing it. During the chase, he shot himself in the knee. He was caught and charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault.

> January 29, 2016 – Winchester – Adult – Injury
A Winchester man was accidentally shot and sustained a wound to his left shoulder described as a ”through and through.” His injury was not life threatening.

>> January 25, 2016 – Crossville – Child – Fatality
Parents left four children in a car while they went inside a Verizon store to pay a bill. One child found a semi-automatic pistol left inside the mother’s purse and accidentally shot a 7-year-old boy also in the car. The child was shot in the head. He was flown to a Knoxville trauma center for medical treatment where he died. No charges have been filed.

> January 11, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A Murfreesboro unintentionally shot himself in the foot. As he was picking up his gun, it slipped from his hand. He tried to catch it, discharging it in the process.

> January 7, 2016 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A Murfreesboro man was unloading his 9mm when it accidentally discharged. A bullet penetrated the wall, through his neighbor’s bedroom before lodging in another wall. The woman was injured. No charges were filed.

>> January 5, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
According to police, a 21-year-old man and another person were handling a gun in the upstairs part of a townhome-style apartment when the gun accidentally discharged. The bullet went through the floor, striking a 13-year-old girl who was holding a 12-week-old boy, police said. LeTara Jones, a sixth-grader at Humes Preparatory Academy, was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition and later died. The infant was grazed by a bullet and was in noncritical condition at the hospital.

>> January 5, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
According to police, a 21-year-old man and another person were handling a gun in the upstairs part of a townhome-style apartment when the gun accidentally discharged. The bullet went through the floor, striking a 13-year-old girl who was holding a 12-week-old boy, police said.  LeTara Jones, a sixth-grader at Humes Preparatory Academy, was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition and later died. The infant was grazed by a bullet and was in noncritical condition at the hospital.

>> January 3, 2016 – Knoxville – Child – Injury
A 15-year-old boy and some friends were playing with a gun in the teen’s bedroom. The gun fired, injuring the boy. Initially the boy lied about what happened, saying he didn’t know how he was shot. The injured boy’s parents say that one of the boy’s friends brought the gun over to the house. No word yet on any charges or how the teen with the gun had access to it.

>> January 3, 2016 – Memphis – Child – Injury
According to police, a 15-year-old boy’s father was approaching the house when he heard two shots. The teen opened the door and said he shot himself. The boy was taken to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition, police said.