Tennessee has a problem with unintentional shootings. Many of these involve children.
There is no federal database tracking these incidents and even organizations 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 is 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: 38
Unintentional shootings involving children with no injuries: 0
Unintentional shootings involving children resulting in injury: 21
Unintentional shootings involving children resulting in death: 16
> Total unintentional shootings involving adults: 39*
Unintentional shootings involving adults with no injuries: 2
Unintentional shootings involving adults resulting in injury: 29
Unintentional shootings involving adults resulting in death: 11
Total unintentional shootings to date: 77
* The single shooting incidents on May 19 and November 16 resulted in two individuals being unintentionally shot and injured.
Last updated: 12/07/2017
>> December 5, 2017 – Lawrenceberg – Child – Fatality
16-year-old Holly Collum was fatally shot by an 18-year-old friend who was playing with a gun while the two were at a friend’s house. Police recovered two firearms at the residence. The 18-year-old has been charged with reckless homicide.
>> November 25, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
A 13-year-old boy was at a friend’s house playing basketball when he was unintentionally shot and killed. His 13-year-old friend was charged with reckless homicide. No adults have been charged. No word on who the gun belonged to or why that person was not charged.
> November 16, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Injuries
During a church luncheon, a group was discussing carrying guns in church. A man in his 80s told everyone he carried his gun everywhere. As he was showing the gun off, he pulled the trigger, not realizing he had chambered a round. The bullet went through his hand and into his wife’s abdomen, injuring them both. No charges will be filed. The man was a gun permit holder and will be allowed to keep his permit.
>> November 12, 2017 – Desden – Child – Fatality
A sixth grader was fatally shot while at a friend’s house. The boys were in the living room when a pistol went off, killing the victim. It is not clear who pulled the trigger or how the boys had access to the gun. No charges have been filed.
>> November 10, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
A man laid an infant and his gun on a bed and left them unattended. The 3-year-old sibling of the infant found the gun and discharged it, killing the baby. The gun owner took his gun and ran but later turned himself in. He was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and tampering with evidence.
> November 9, 2017 – Nashville – Adult – Fatality
A 20-year-old man was unintentionally shot and killed by a close friend. The shooter was handling a gun he thought was unloaded. He pulled the trigger and the weapon fired, hitting his friend in the head. No charges were filed.
>> November 7, 2017 – Knoxville – Child – Injury
A 16-year-old was in a car with friends and unintentionally shot himself He was taken to the hospital in serious condition. It is not clear why the teen had a loaded gun. No charges have been filed.
> October 28, 2017 – Knoxville – Adult – Injury
A woman was shot in the leg on Boxwood Drive. Police report that it was unintentional and that there will be no charges filed. It was not clear whether the woman shot herself or was shot by another person.
>> October 23, 2017 – Springfield – Child – Injury
A teenager and her friends were at a Sonic Drive-In when she heard a shot and realized she had been shot in the chest. Investigators report that one of her friends was playing with a loaded revolver when it unintentionally discharged. No word on whether charges will be filed or why the teenager had access to a loaded handgun.
> October 18, 2017 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
A Jackson police officer was accidentally shot Wednesday by another officer during quarterly firearms training. The officer was airlifted to Memphis in stable condition, treated, and later released.
>> October 18, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 15-year-old girl was unintentionally shot in the mouth and critically injured by her brother. Police say the girl’s brother asked to see her boyfriend’s pistol and put his finger on the trigger not knowing the safety was off. The bullet went through the house’s front door, hitting the teen’s 15-year-old sister in the mouth. The teenage boy was taken into custody.
> October 15, 2017 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
A man mistook his roommate for an intruder and shot him multiple times. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
>> October 13, 2017 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 14-year-old boy unintentionally shot himself in the upper thigh. Authorities said it appeared the boy had been playing with the gun when it discharged.
> October 11, 2017 – Sevierville – Adult – Injury
A 15-year-old boy was unintentionally shot in the neck with an AR-15 style rifle by an 18-year-old. Two other adults were also present. No charges have been filed.
> October 10, 2017 – Clarksville – Adult – Fatality
A 24-year-old man was cleaning his Glock when it discharged, striking a 19-year-old friend in the torso, killing him.
> October 8, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
An 8-year-old boy fatally shot himself with a loaded gun his father had placed under some covers on a bed near the boy and another child. The father was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
> October 7, 2017 – Nashville – Adult – Fatality
An 18-year-old was eating breakfast when the gun in his pocket fell to the ground and discharged, shooting him in the chest and killing him.
> October 5, 2017 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
An corrections officer is being treated after she unintentionally shot herself in the leg during firearms training near Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.
> October 4, 2017 – Cookeville – Child – Injury
A 16-year-old was injured from what’s reported to be an unintentional gunshot wound to the leg. No word on who shot the teen, the type of gun, or who the gun belonged to.
> September 18, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A 20-year-old man was standing by a vehicle and decided to remove his Smith and Wesson from his holster before going upstairs to an apartment. In doing so, he fired a single shot hitting an 18-year-old woman sitting in the passenger’s seat of the vehicle in the neck. He admitted to accidentally shooting the woman and having some beer before the incident. He was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a handgun while intoxicated.
> September 11, 2017 – Clarksville – Adult – Fatality
Police said a man in his 70s with a valid Tennessee gun permit entered a Clarksville restaurant Monday morning. As he was moving to sit down on a stool, he dropped a cloth bag that was in his hand to the floor. When the bag dropped, a loaded gun that was in the bag discharged. He was struck in the abdomen and taken to the hospital in critical condition. He later died.
>> September 6, 2017 – Hixson – Child – Injury
While left unsupervised with a loaded gun, a 3-year-old child unintentionally shot themselves. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. No word on whether charges will be filed.
>> September 5, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 11-year old boy found a gun at his bus stop, picked it up and unintentionally shot himself in the hand.
>> September 2, 2017 – Springfield – Fatality
A 17-year-old boy unintentionally and fatally shot himself in a vehicle. Police report he died of a single gunshot from a semi-automatic handgun. The magazine had been removed but there was still a bullet in the chamber. No charges have been filed.
>> August 20, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
An 8-year-old boy shot himself in his home. The boy’s father had placed a loaded handgun on a bed near the victim and another child. The victim was taken the hospital where he later died. The father was later arrested after marijuana was found in the home.
>> August 19, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
A 4-year-old boy in Memphis shot himself and was in very critical condition. He was taken to the hospital and died soon after. The boy’s father was charged with reckless homicide.
>> August 19, 2017 – Clarksville – Adult – Fatality
A distraught 18-year-old man fatally shot himself after unintentionally shooting and killing his 18-year-old friend.
> August 19, 2017 – Elizabethton – Adult – Injury
A 39-year-old woman was target practicing with a black Savage .22-caliber rifle in her backyard. When she finished, she lowered the rifle while she still had her finger on the trigger. The trigger was pulled and she shot herself in the foot.
> August 18, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 4-year-old chid was home with two other children and their father when she picked up a gun and shot herself with it. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition. No word on how she accessed the gun or if charges will be filed.
> August 7, 2017 – Murfreesboro – Adult – No Injury
A man playing video game w/loaded AR15 in lap unintentionally fired it, sent bullet into his 75-year-old neighbor’s apartment.
> August 4, 2017 – Talbot’s Corner – Adult – Fatality
A man was killed in a reported unintentional shooting in the Talbot’s Corner neighborhood. At least three to four young people who were inside the home have been questioned by police. The shooting remains under investigation.
> July 30, 2017 – Chattanooga – Adult – Injury
Police responded to a call of a person shot. Upon arriving, they discovered the injured person had sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Their injury was not life-threatening.
> July 22, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Fatality
Police responded to a call of a person who had been shot. Upon arriving, the found a deceased 25-year-old. A person told officers the had shot himself accidentally, according to police.
> July 17, 2017 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
A 20-year-old was unintentionally shot in a car. He was transported to the hospital in the vehicle with non-life-threatening injuries.
> July 13, 2017 – Watauga – Adult – Injury
A 28-year-old man was fishing with a friend. He had placed his 45-caliber pistol in a dry bag and “accidentally discharged.” He said he did not know what caused the gun to go off. The bullet went through the man’s arm and penetrated his leg. He was rushed to the hospital.
>> July 8, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Fatality
A 3-year-old gained access to his father’s loaded, unsecured gun and fatally shot himself with it. The father kept the gun in a case, but the 3-year-old was still able to pick up the gun and pull the trigger. No word on whether charges will be fired.
>> July 8, 2017 – Greeneville – Child – Fatality
A 17-year-old was holding a gun in his home when it unintentionally discharged and killed him.
>> July 7, 2017 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 15-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the foot with a shotgun. Witnesses report that other teens were present. The boy was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
>> July 5, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 12-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother were playing with a gun at their home. The boy unintentionally fired a shot, hitting his sister in the leg. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No word on whether charges will be filed.
> June 27, 2017 – Jackson – Adult – Injury
The Jackson Police Department is investigated an accidental shooting that occurred on Roosevelt Parkway. One man limped to the ambulance, which he boarded without assistance.
>> June 24, 2017 – Old Hickory – Child – Fatality
A 19-year-old man was with other teens and handling a pistol. While he as holding the gun, it discharged and fatally injured one of the other teens, a 14-year-old boy. The 19-year-old initially lied to police. He has been charged with criminal homicide.
> June 23, 2017 – Hamilton County – Adult – Injury
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a report of a person shot late Friday afternoon. It was determined that the shooting was accidental. The victim is stable with non-life threatening injuries.
> June 23, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 14-year-old child unintentionally shot himself just after midnight Friday morning, according to Memphis Police Department. The child was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in non-critical condition.
> June 22, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A 28-year-old took a friend’s phone and the two were play fighting when his handgun accidentally went off in his shorts. He was taken to the hospital but is expected to be OK.
>> June 21, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 15-year-old unintentionally shot himself at a house. His condition is unknown.
>> June 16, 2017 – Memphis – Child – Injury
A 16-year-old was unintentionally shot by his 18-year-old brother inside the home where the two reside. The 16-year-old was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The 18-year-old was detained by police. No word on the younger child’s condition or if any charges have been filed.
> June 13, 2017 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
A 74-year-old man thought he heard a noise at his back door. He grabbed his Smith and Wesson .454, which was cocked. When he went to uncock the weapon, it reported discharged. A round struck the man in the knee, causing extensive damage.
>> June 5, 2017 – Nashville – Child – Fatality
A 2-year-old unintentionally shot their 7-year-old cousin. The girl was taken to the hospital where she passed away. Police have not yet indicated whether charges will be filed.
> June 2, 2017 – Ooltewah – Adult – Injury
An Oolteah man unintentionally shot himself in the leg and had to be taken to the hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening.
> May 22, 2017 – Murfreesboro – Adult – Injury
An 18-year-old man told police that he started running after hearing gunshots and was struck in the foot. Upon investigation, police detectives determined Fuller was struck in a self-inflicted gunshot, believed to be an accidental shooting. Police say the man could face charges for filing a false police report.
> May 19, 2017 – Nashville – Adult(s) – Injury
Police said a 45-year-old and 47-year-old both suffered minor injuries in an accidental shooting at the nRange gun store. They were reportedly hit by a buckshot.
>> May 17, 2017 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A man was bathing his children around 2am. He took the 1-year-old out and placed him on a bed and left the room, The child found a loaded gun and fired it, grazing his face.
> May 17, 2017 – Nashville – Adult – Injury
Berry Hill police responded to a report of a person injured in a shooting in the Melrose area of Nashville. Police later said the shooting appeared to be self-inflicted.
>> May 15, 2017 – Nashville – Child – Injury
A 3-year-old child was staying with a man and his wife when he found a loaded, unsecured gun in a bedroom and fired it, striking himself in the foot.
> May 13, 2017 – Memphis – Adult – Injury
A Memphis man admitted to police that he was trying to see what was wrong with his gun when he accidentally shot and killed his companion. The shooter, Hector Rostro, said he threw the gun into the woods after the shooting. The shooter was charged with reckless homicide.
>> May 5, 2017 – Chattanooga – Child – Injury
A 10-year-old boy was playing with his parent’s 9mm Glock handgun as he talked to a friend on his computer when he discharged the gun and shot himself in the arm.
> May 3, 2017 – Clarksville – Adult & Child – Injury
A 3-year-old girl and 27-year-old man were both injured in what investigators believe was an unintentional discharge.
> 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 8, 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.