Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Boy 16, skyping face to face, dies showing off gun; Girl 13, critical after man 20, shot her playing with AR-15; Gun comes out at party, 2 teens shot
16-year-old dies in accidental shooting, Caldwell County deputies say
Granite Falls, NC (4-11-16) A death investigation is underway Monday in Caldwell County after a 16-year old was shot and killed.
Family members said Dekota Smith, a student at South Caldwell High School, accidentally shot himself while Skyping with a friend.
Counselors and clergy were at the school Monday to help students grieve.
Gregory Johnston told Channel 9 that he still can't believe his nephew is gone.
Johnston said Smith was at his grandparents’ home when he accidentally shot himself. Johnston said his nephew was showing a gun to a friend, using his cellphone to do a live video chat, when the weapon went off.
"The person he was talking to said he was looking at him face to face on his little phone and all of a sudden he could see the ceiling. And apparently he heard the bang and (knew that) something (was) wrong,” Johnston said.
There was a moment of silence at South Caldwell High School for Smith as students returned to school Monday morning. The winter athletic awards scheduled for Monday night have been postponed.
Smith was a member of both the wrestling and track teams. His teammates are making a memorial banner for his family.
"It is extremely tough on the children. When you have someone who is one of your peers who is involved in a situation that is this horrific, it's heartbreaking, and we knew we'd have upset children here today,” Libby Brown of Caldwell County Schools said.
Deputies said they are still trying to determine how the teenager got the weapon.
They said the case is a reminder to everyone about the importance of gun safety.
"Make sure that parents understand to secure those weapons, because if the kids are very small or in their teens, they could still get those weapons and hurt somebody as well as themselves,” Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones said.
Deputies said they still have more interviews to do in the case. Once their investigation is complete, they will forward it to the district attorney’s office.
19-year-old arrested in accidental shooting death of woman, police say
TOWN OF PRESTON, Wis. (4-11-16) A 19-year-old faces homicide charges after a Friendship woman died early Sunday morning when she was accidentally shot by a pellet gun, Adams County officials said.
Adam’s County sheriff’s deputies were called to an address in the town of Preston just after midnight on a report that a woman has been accidentally shot by a pellet gun, according to a release.
Deputies found a woman bleeding and unresponsive, officials said.
Lifesaving measures were not successful, and the woman, 26-year-old Constance Heintz, was pronounced dead at Moundview Memorial Hospital, according to the release.
Officials said 19-year-old Branden Davis, of Friendship, was arrested, and is being held in the Adams County jail on a charge of homicide by negligent use of a dangerous weapon.
The investigation is ongoing, according to the release.
Hot Springs girl critical after shooting, police say
Hot Springs. Ak (4-11-16) A 13-year-old girl was hospitalized in critical condition Sunday after being shot in the leg with an AR-15 rifle, police in Hot Springs said Monday.
Jesse Alan Flemister, 20, was arrested and charged with second-degree battery, police said in a news release.
According to that statement, police were called to a residence on Hillsdale Terrace around 6:45 p.m. and found the girl with a gunshot wound in the left leg. Flemister told police he was playing with the gun when it accidentally discharged one time, the report said.
The girl was taken to St. Vincent Hospital and then flown to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock in critical condition, according to the report.
There was no word from police on the girl's condition Monday morning.
Friends describe Goffstown brothers as 'best friends'
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. (4-11-16) A Goffstown man is facing felony charges after his brother was shot in the head and flown to a Boston hospital in critical condition.
Timothy Beard, 23, and his brother Christian Beard, 21, live in separate apartments at 10 Prospect St. in Goffstown.
Police said the brothers were drinking and playing the first-person shooter video game "Halo" on Sunday night.
At some point, Timothy Beard took out a 9mm handgun he had purchased a few weeks before. His girlfriend said it was for self-protection in case of a break-in.
Timothy Beard told police that he was messing around with the gun when he accidentally shot his brother, investigators said.
Police said they are still trying to figure out what led up to the gunshot.
"From what we understand, from a preliminary investigation from the four like-aged adults that were there, there were some video games that were being played," Chief Robert Browne said. "And as such, one of them, Timothy Beard, had picked up the firearm and at one point pointed it towards his brother, and a round went off."
Witnesses said there was no fighting or aggression leading up to the gunshot, and that everyone seemed to be having a good time. One witness described the brothers as "best friends."
Timothy Beard’s girlfriend said that right before the gunshot, he said, "When a zombie comes, hit him like this, in the head." Another witness said Christian Beard then said something to the effect of, "Shoot me. I dare you."
Timothy Beard told police that's when he pulled the trigger, investigators said. Police said he had the gun just inches from his brother’s temple.
Christian Beard was shot in the forehead and was taken to Catholic Medical Center before he was flown to a Boston hospital. He was listed in critical condition.
"From what I understand, there was immediate first aid given by the people that were at the residence," Browne said. "The officers that responded were assisting with direct pressure to the wound of Mr. Beard, and it's my understanding that CPR was in progress, as well, as he was being transported."
Timothy Beard is charged with second-degree assault and reckless conduct. Police said the assault charge will escalate if his brother dies.
According to court paperwork, no one in the home knew the gun was loaded. Timothy Beard told police that he didn't think the gun was loaded, and the shooting was an accident.
"I can tell you from firsthand experience, firearms don't accidentally go off," Browne said. "So there is a reckless nature or a negligent nature of the handling of the firearm, and that would result in the charges against Timothy Beard."
The attorney general's office, the county attorney and the state police are involved in the investigation. Bail for Timothy Beard was set at $10,000.
Police Call Easton Shooting Accidental
EASTON, Cn (4-11-16) A shooting that took place on Sunday, April 10 is being called an "accidental discharge," by the Easton Police Department, according to the Easton Courier.
Police said the shooting took place at 3:10 p.m. on Morehouse Road, but released very few details on the incident, said the Easton Courier.
An unidentified injured person was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital by Easton EMS, added the Easton Courier. Police did not reveal information on the victim or his or her condition.
Fatal shooting in Montgomery deemed accidental
Montgomery, Al (4-11-16) Police have determined that Friday night's fatal shooting was an accident.
Officers responded to a shooting call in the 200 block of Southlawn Drive at about 9:15 p.m. Friday. They found an adult female with life-threatening injuries.
She was transported to a local hospital where she late died. Police have not released her identity.
"MPD's investigation into this shooting determined that the shooting was accidental. For this reason, no additional information is available for public release," said police spokeswoman Lt. Denise Barnes.
UPDATE: 2 of 5 weekend shootings in Gary accidental
Gary, In (4-11-16) In two additional cases, a 17-year-old Gary girl and 20-year-old Merrillville man told police they were shot by others, but investigators later determined both accidentally shot themselves, Pawlak said.
The Merrillville man was shot in the stomach and taken by ambulance about 9 p.m. from a home in the 700 block of Ralston Street to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, police said. He claimed he was shot by a man dressed in all black, Pawlak said.
Police responded about 11:15 p.m. to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus for a shooting victim. The 17-year-old girl claimed she was talking to a friend when she was shot in the leg, Pawlak said.
Investigators later determined both gave police false information to avoid prosecution, Pawlak said.
Both cases remain under investigation, and it has not yet been determined if they will be charged with making a false police report, he said.
Man drives self to hospital after being shot
North Cañon City, Co (4-11-16) A man drove himself to the hospital after he was shot during a drive-by incident Saturday morning, according to a news release from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office sent on Monday.
According to the news release, the victim, a 31-year old male, who is not being named, reportedly drove himself to St. Thomas More Hospital after he had been shot.
Capt. Jeff Worley with the sheriff's department said Monday in an email that the incident occurred sometime before 6 a.m. and it occurred off of High Street in North Cañon City.
The news release said the victim was driving when he heard a loud "bang."
"One of his vehicle windows was shattered and the victim realized he was injured," the news release said.
He was able to drive himself to the hospital for medical attention.
At St. Thomas More Hospital, emergency room personnel confirmed the victim had been shot one time.
The caliber of the bullet is unknown.
The victim is in stable condition, the news release said.
Detectives with the Fremont County Sheriff's Department are currently investigating the incident
Worley said detectives are following some leads, but there are no arrest warrants or no known suspects at the time.
He also said that the sheriff's department is not certain if the incident was an accidental shooting or something intentional.
However, sheriff's departments asks that anyone with information regarding the incident to call the sheriff's office at 276-5555 or Crime Stoppers at 275-7867.
Teen shoots himself in leg while 'adjusting' gun inside his sweatpants
HARRISBURG, Pa. (4-11-16) Police were called to an accidental shooting in Dauphin County early Monday morning.
Swatara Township police say they reported to the 1800 block of South 19th Street, where they discovered a 17-year-old boy had shot himself.
The teen, from Harrisburg, accidentally shot himself in the leg while "adjusting" the gun he was carrying inside his sweatpants, according to police.
He is being treated at a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The teen is facing charges.
Police have not yet recovered the gun used in this incident.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Eric Morris at the Swatara Township Police Department at 717-564-2550 or leave a tip at www.SwataraPolice.org.
Bay City teen accidentally shoots himself in the face, police say
BAY CITY, MI (4-11-16) An 18-year-old Bay City man was in critical condition after suffering an apparently accidental gunshot wound to the head.
About 1:10 a.m. Sunday, April 10, police were dispatched to a home in the 700 block of South Farragut Street about a shooting. Officers found the victim, who was walking and talking even though he had been shot in the face, said Bay City Public Safety Capt. Joseph Lanava.
The man was transported to McLaren Bay Region hospital and later transferred to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Lanava said.
The man had been shot with a small-caliber handgun, which police recovered. A small gathering was taking place at the man's house when the shooting occurred, Lanava said.
The gunshot wound was self-inflicted, but it was not a suicide attempt, Lanava said. Evidence indicates the man was handling the gun in a reckless or careless manner, the captain said.
Alcohol is believed to be a factor, Lanava said.
Police have not released the man's name. The incident remains under investigation.
2 teens accidentally shot at Valencia Park birthday party
SAN DIEGO, CA (4-11-16) A birthday party ended in gunfire Sunday night when two teenagers were accidentally shot in Valencia Park.
San Diego police say an 18-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were each hit in the arm at about 7:45 p.m. at a home in the 5700 block of Elk Street.
They were taken to Mercy Hospital and their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Officers said another teen at the party accidentally fired off the round, then reportedly fled the area.
Police are trying to make contact with him.
Cops: Teen killed pal in sleeping child's bedroom
Beverly, Ma (4-12-16) A Beverly teen charged with murder who claims he accidentally shot his 21-year-old friend Saturday night engaged in the fatal gunplay in an apartment bedroom where a child was in a crib, cops said.
Justice Galarza, 19, was held without bail yesterday in Salem District Court after pleading not guilty to the murder of Christian Merced, 21, of Miami. He also faces gun charges of carrying without a license and shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Witnesses told police that immediately after the shooting, as Merced lay bleeding on the apartment’s kitchen floor, Galarza was scared and apologetic, claiming the shooting was an accident, then fled, later turning himself in to police. Cops said he told an aunt, “He had shot a friend by accident in Beverly. Galarza stated that he got scared and ran from the scene down the railroad tracks to her house,” the report states.
A gun was found by police on the nearby railroad tracks. A witness told cops Galarza had shown him a “silver gun” that he got about two or three weeks ago, police said.
Darlene Nunez, Galarza’s grandmother, told cops that Galarza told her he and Merced “were messing around with the gun and it just went off,” the report states.
Police said that although witnesses at the Ropes Street apartment initially told them the shooting happened in a nearby park, they later determined it took place in a back bedroom where a “young male child” was “in a crib.”
“The shooting actually happened in the back bedroom in this apartment. Inside the bedroom at the time of the shooting was the victim (Christian Merced) and the suspect (Justice Galarza) and the child in the crib,” cops said.
What appeared to be a .22 caliber casing was found in the room, cops said.
The Department of Children and Families said it’s investigating in collaboration with law enforcement.
Galarza’s defense lawyer, Mike Phelan, and Essex District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan said yesterday a grand jury will determine what charges Galarza ultimately faces.
Phelan said it was a matter of “kids playing with a gun — it goes off. There’s no argument. There’s no fight between them.”
Galarza’s grandmother Nunez said after the court hearing, “It’s just an awful accident.” She added, “I pray for my Justice. But I also pray for the other family, too. They lost a boy.”
Police: Officer responding to alarm accidentally shoots man
WASHINGTON DC (4-11-16) Authorities say a police officer unintentionally shot a man who was in a grocery store that had been burglarized Sunday night.
Laurel city spokeswoman Audrey Barnes said Monday that officers responded to a burglar alarm at Indus Food International Market around 11:20 p.m.
She says police saw a 15-year-old boy fleeing the building. Barnes said the teen refused police commands to stop, and an officer deployed a Taser.
The boy was taken to a hospital, and was later released to his mother.
Barnes said officers were checking the building when one officer, who was holding his service weapon, saw movement in the dark. The spokeswoman says the officer was moving his gun from one hand to the other when it discharged and hit a 20-year-old man inside.
The man was in stable condition in a hospital. The officer, a 17-year veteran, is on paid administrative leave.
No officers were injured.
Police say this is the third burglary, or attempted burglary, of the market since November 2015 when thieves broke in and stole $5,000. The store was burglarized again in December and the thieves stole $8,000.
Detectives are working to determine if all three of these burglaries could be related.
Barnes said this is the department’s first police-involved shooting since 2003.
Officer Didn't Intend to Shoot Burglary Suspect at Indus Market: Update
LAUREL, MD (4-11-16) A 20-year-old burglary suspect is hospitalized in stable condition after he was accidentally shot by a SWAT team member of the police department Sunday night in Laurel, officials say.
Police were called to the 900 block of Fourth Street for an alarm at the Indus Food International Market, according to a city news release. Several officers responded. A 15-year-old boy who fled from the scene was caught by police.
While officers were running after the teenager, four more officers with their weapons drawn went to the back of the business to search the building.
As the first officer opened the back door, he transferred the gun from one hand to the other.
City officials said the officer was startled by movement just inside the door, jumped back, and his weapon discharged. He shot the 20-year-old man, who was lying on some sheet metal stacked up in the drop-off by the door.
The officer -- who is a 17-year member of the department and afirearms instructor -- immediately gave first aid to the injured suspect, says the city, even consoling the injured burglary suspect while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
The suspect, who is from Nottingham, was taken to Med Star, and is in stable condition after surgery.
That officer is now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is done routinely after a weapon is discharged.
Juvenile Services was contacted, but because of the nature of the burglary, did not take custody of the teenager. He was released to his mother. Charges are pending.
This is the first police involved shooting in the City of Laurel since 2003.