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.
These are the news stories we have tracked so far in 2017.
>> Total unintentional shootings involving children: 9
Unintentional shootings involving children – injuries: 5
Unintentional shootings involving children with no injuries: 0
Unintentional shootings involving children – deaths: 4
> Total unintentional shootings involving adults: 11
Unintentional shootings involving adults – injuries: 8
Unintentional shootings involving adults – no injury: 1
Unintentional shootings involving adults- deaths: 2
Total unintentional shootings to date: 20
Last updated: 4/17/2017
> April 16, 2017 – Mt. Juliet – Adult – Injury
On Easter Sunday at Gladeville Baptist Church, a gun owner, who has a gun permit, had the gun in his pocket. When he sat down, it discharged and a bullet went into the floor.
>> April 14, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
Four boys, two brothers, and two cousins were home alone when they found a small-caliber handgun. The 13-year-old boy started playing with the gun and accidentally shot his 12-year-old cousin. The gun was left unsecured, and there were no parents at home.
>> April 9, 2017 – Chattanooga – Child – Injury
A 13-year-old boy was shot in the head in his home in Chattanooga. Another boy in the house, who was 16, called 911. Police found no evidence that the shooting was “anything other than an accident.”
> April 5, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A 19-year-old accidentally shot himself in the leg near the baseball field behind Raleigh-Egypt High School.
> March 29, 2017 – Elizabethton – Adult – Injury
48-year-old Michael Hubbard was looking at his friend’s .38-caliber revolver “when the gun went off while he was looking at it.” He was shot in the leg and transported to the hospital.
>> March 24, 2017 – Nashville – Child – Injury
Three teenagers were in a car when a 13-year-old was shot in the leg by someone else in the vehicle.
> March 17, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Fatality
An 82-year-old man thought his 74-year-old friend was a suspicious person he saw earlier in the day and shot him. A few days later, the victim died from his injuries. No charges were filed.
> March 13, 2017 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A man who told police he always sleeps with his gun was injured when the gun discharged while the man slept. The man reported that as he was sleeping, he moved and caused the gun to fire. The man sustained an injury to his hand.
> March 7, 2017 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
A woman accidentally shot herself inside a Memphis Kroger. She had her 18-month-old child with her. The baby was not harmed. The woman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
> March 7, 2017 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
A man was handling an old rifle without a stock when he accidentally shot himself in the foot.
>> February 26, 2017 – Perry County – Child – Fatality
A 13-year-old boy was unintentionally shot and killed by a 12-year-old relative as the two children were in a bedroom playing with a handgun taken from a family member’s backpack. The victim was taken to Perry County Hospital where he died from his injuries.
> February 25, 2017 – Chattanooga – Adult – Injury
A person described as an acquaintance was showing the victim a pistol when the gun unintentionally went off, striking the victim. The victim suffered a mild laceration to the back of the head.
>> February 20, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 4-year-old was unintentionally shot by his brother. The brother was playing with the gun and dropped it, causing it to discharge. The children’s grandmother claims she fired a gun to intimidate people she said had shot into her home. She said she put the gun “back into the box but forgot to lock it.”
> February 11, 2017 – Franklin – Adult – Injury
A couple was staying at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Franklin. The man was mishandling a pistol when he accidentally discharged it. The round went through his hand and into the rear end of the woman in the room.
> 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.